In a healthy turn, Chennai’s test positivity rate falls to 3%

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on June 14, 2021

The city Corporation’s planning has earned praised on social media   -  The Hindu

Aggressive testing, strict lockdown help city battle second wave

Chennai, which was once the hub for Coronavirus in Tamil Nadu, has shown a lot of resilience in the last one month. During this period, the city aggressively ramped up testing and ensured strict adherence with lockdown measures. This has brought down Chennai’s Test Positivity Rate (TPR) to around 3 per cent on Sunday from a high of nearly 30 per cent a month ago.

Effective strategy

Since March 22 (it was 3 per cent then), the TPR kept increasing to a peak of 27.7 per cent on May 10. However, since then, it has been declining sharply as daily testing has been consistent between 26,000 and 33,000 in the last one month.

It took nearly 50 days to reach a peak TPR of 27.7 per cent on May 11 with testing at 26,920. “However, testing was consistently increased up to 33,000 and the TPR reached 3.5 per cent in 30 days after its peak,” said Vijayanand, a Covid data analyst, in a tweet. But in districts such as Coimbatore and Erode, there is still high-test positivity.

Prabhdeep Kaur, an ICMR scientist, said in a tweet, “We must learn from the Greater Chennai Corporation aggressive testing strategy and replicate it in all districts. Mapping the hot spots to street level and ensuring every symptomatic is tested. Testing all symptomatic in the private sector and people undergoing CT scans.”

“High test positivity in several districts despite a month of lockdown suggests persistent spread of virus and need to revisit testing strategy. Most labs are functioning at full capacity for RT PCR. Time to add rapid antigen testing in hot spots,” she added.

TN Covid count

Meanwhile,Tamil Nadu reported 14,016 new Coronavirus cases on Saturday taking the total number of infections in the State to 23,53,721. After 25,895 persons were discharged, the number of active cases stood at 1,49,927. There were 267 deaths and 1,77,295 samples tested. Coimbatore had the highest number of cases with 1,895, followed by Erode with 1,323. All the other districts had fewer than 1,000 cases, data show.

The State government on Sunday announced further relaxation from Monday. It has now allowed opening of tea shops in 27 non-hotspot districts, including Chennai, where Covid-19 spread is less, from June 14 to June 21. However, only parcels are allowed from 6 am to 5 pm. The government has also allowed the sale of sweets and savouries and e-seva centres to resume.

Last week, when the State government announced the opening of Tasmac shops and not tea shops, many in the social media commented that tea shops should also be allowed as lakhs of people, including workers and immigrants, are dependent on them every day.

“With more relaxation coming tomorrow, time to be more cautious as the virus is still around; continue to take all the precautions that you took last month. Double mask/N95; avoid closed environment, reduce duration of exposure and ensure others also wear mask, maintain distance,” Vijayanand tweeted.

Published on June 13, 2021

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