CHENNAI: After slowing down its infectious march through the city for a brief period, the coronavirus seems to be charging ahead once again. The city has been recording more than 1,200 cases daily for over a week, with 12 out of the 15 corporation zones reporting a positive case growth.
It may be noted that the city had reported fewer than 1,000 cases daily for almost three consecutive weeks in September, before the daily count breached the 1,000-mark in the last week of that month. Corporation officials, citing the relaxations in lockdown measures, termed the surge as “natural”. “Now the whole city is almost opened up for economic activities.
People commute by buses and visit places of worship. Restaurants too are functioning. So, cases will naturally go up,’’ an official said. In the last seven days, Thiruvottiyur, which had recorded fewer cases at the end of August, has been witnessing the highest daily case growth of 9.6 per cent among all zones, followed by Tondiarpet with 5.4 per cent growth.
Similarly, Madhavaram and Alandur, too, are recording daily case growth of 5.4 and 5.3 per cent respectively. Incidently, Alandur is the only zone to have percentage of active cases in double digits (10 per cent). After a brief fall in new cases, almost all zones in North Chennai are recording a surge. Against the 80 active cases at the end of August, Manali currently has 250 active cases, while the figure has risen from 500 to 800 in Tondiarpet.
Only 7% of Chennai’s total caseload now active
The corporation official said that from now on, measuring the mortality rate is the key to assess how well the containment strategies and the public health system are working. “We trace symptomatic cases early and send them for treatment. Asymptomatic people too are tested at fever camps. The healthcare intervention is strong,’’ a corporation health department official said.
Allowing inter-district travel and removing e-pass system could have accelerated the infections, suspected the official. “Now, thousands of people are commuting to Chennai for work on a daily basis. It is hard to keep track of the infection in this scenario,’’ added the official. On the bright side, only 7 per cent of city’s total caseload is active while as much as 91 per cent of the patients have been recovered. The mortality rate in the city remains just below 2 per cent.
Six victims had no co-morbid conditions
Among the deceased, six didn’t have co-morbid conditions. A 33-year-old man from Salem was the youngest to die without co-morbidities on the day. The patient was admitted on September 26 in
Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, Salem. He tested positive and died on due to Covid Pneumonia, respiratory failure, the bulletin said.
Royapuram too now has close to 1,000 cases.
Corporation officials say that the reflection in the positive case growth is natural. “Now, the whole city is almost opened for economic activities. People commute by buses and places of worship, restaurants too are functioning. So, cases may naturally go up," the official said.
The official added that measuring the mortality rate is the key to assess the containment strategies and how the public health system works.
“We trace symptomatic patients early and send them for treatment. Asymptomatics too are tested for COVID in fever camp nowadays. The healthcare intervention is strong," the Corporation health department official said.
Officials also say that the inter-district travel and removal of the pass system may have accelerated positive cases in the city.
“Thousands of people commute to Chennai now for work on a daily basis. It is hard to track the infection spread in such a case. People may have been too cautious," added the official.
While 91 per cent people have recovered in Chennai, the active cases are at seven per cent, as a steady number of people over a thousand are getting discharged every day. Meanwhile, the mortality rate is just below two per cent.
Currently, 761 streets in Chennai have active positive cases and in this, there are only ten containment zones.