CHENNAI: With a high daily discharge rate in July, recoveries from COVID-19 in Chennai have hit 84.3 percent, while active cases have come down to a new low of just 13.6 percent now.
Out of the 95,857 people infected in the city, 80,761 have been discharged, while 13,064 are still undergoing treatment. Between July 18 and 27, 13,683 people have been discharged, which is higher than the 12,329 new positive cases recorded in the same period.
Some erstwhile hotspots like Tondiarpet just have 6 percent active cases, while Royapuram has just 8 percent active cases.
However, some areas like Ambattur, Kodambakkam, Valsaravakkam, Alandur and Adyar are posing a challenge for officials as the active case rate is close to 20 percent, due to continuous daily spikes.
While Chennai’s overall case growth rate is now at minus 0.5, zones like Ambattur, Adyar, Valsaravakkam and Sholinganallur pose a challenge with a high growth rate of above 3 percent.
A closer look shows that for the past few days, Ambattur and Adyar have been recording more than 100 cases daily. Ambattur also has active cases at 21 percent.
“It is hard to identify the source of spread anymore. If a person is positive, we barricade their houses and ask primary contacts to be in isolation,’’ an official with the Ambattur corporation zone said.
Officials of the civic body’s public health department said that they have ramped up testing in south Chennai. “We can’t really say why there’s a rise. People travel between zones for work. Contact tracing is still rigorous so the spike will come down soon,’’ the official said.
Currently, six Corporation zones have active cases of more than 1,000 and of them, Kodambakkam has 1970, the highest. Out of the 15 zones, eight show a recovery of over 80 percent while more than 90 percent people have recovered at Tondiarpet and Royapuram.
City hospitals get a breather
On the brighter side, due to the downslide in active cases in Chennai, hospitals are becoming less burdened. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar in a recent press meet had said that currently only 50-60 percent of beds are occupied in government hospitals.
The New Indian Express also confirmed this with officials at Stanley, Omandurar and KMC, who said that there has been a slight decline in admissions. However, occupancy is still high at the city’s main hospital, RGGGH.
“Occupancies at main hospitals are now slightly less because of COVID care centres. They only send critical patients to hospitals now,’’ an official with Stanley said.
Private hospitals too have most beds vacant. A look at the government’s www.stopcorona.tn website shows that almost 80 of the 86 hospitals listed for treating COVID-19 have vacant beds.