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COVID-19 growth rate in Chennai on the decline but experts say it’s time to bring it down further

Seven Corporation zones - Manali, Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiruvika Nagar, Anna Nagar, Teynampet, and Alandur - have recorded a negative growth rate

Published: 27th July 2020 06:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2020 06:56 PM   |  A+A-

A health worker arranges tubes containing swab samples in a tray for COVID-19 test at a medical camp in Kasimedu fish market in Chennai. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The average growth rate of COVID-19 cases in Chennai for the last seven days is now at minus 0.1 percent, which means the number of daily cases is slowing down.

On July 25, the seven day average was 0.5 percent, indicating a very small spike after the daily cases fell down from about 2400 in July first week, to about 1100 after that. Since then, the city has
recorded cases between 1100-1400 every day.

The latest growth rate data indicates that there has been a minor fall in cases in the past week.

Seven Corporation zones - Manali, Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiruvika Nagar, Anna Nagar, Teynampet, and Alandur - have recorded a negative growth rate. This means a large number of people are getting discharged in these zones, while the new cases daily are minimal.

However, for officials, the cause for concern is from the remaining corporation zones, mostly from Central and South Chennai, where the growth rate is higher.

Adyar has a growth rate of 3.7 percent, Sholinganallur has 2.9 percent, Valsaravakkam has 4.6 percent, while Ambattur in Central Chennai limits has 4.1 percent.

Madhavaram zone in North Chennai has the highest growth rate of 11.9 percent, where the government shifted the wholesale fruit market from Koyambedu, after the latter turned into a hotspot.

“Rigorous testing from fever camps and contact tracing of those patients have brought in more cases here lately and also, we have been identifying more symptomatic patients. The case growth rate is temporary as once the vulnerable population is tested and isolated, it would decline again,’’ an official with the zone said.

Interestingly, 13 Corporation zones in Chennai have a recovery rate of more than 80 percent and of them, the Tondiarpet zone has a recovery rate of 91 percent. The zone only has 7 percent active cases as every day, more people are getting discharged.

Meanwhile, public health experts say that people must not get complacent because the city’s case growth rate is zero. “It is a very good sign that the case growth rate is zero, but it is also a warning for people that daily we are recording around the same numbers of 1200 every day,’’ former Director of Public Health Dr K Kolandasamy said.

The priority of the public and officials must be to accelerate the decline of COVID-19 cases. “If it’s 100 or 200 cases daily, it is natural for those numbers to remain for a few months before it falls. However, 1200 is still a big number and it must decline,’’ he said.

He added that movement of people within Corporation zones without valid reasons must be restricted in the coming days. “That will help in reducing the cases further,’’ he said.

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