The number of tests per positive case is considered as an important criterion in fighting against SARS-CoV-2. However, Tamil Nadu, which occupies the first position in absolute number tests carried out, is also one of the states doing lesser number of tests per positive case.
Meanwhile, 733 casualties in the one week period ended August 6 has raised alarms even as the number of positive cases saw a marginal dip during the week. The state is set to witness a reverse migration, and with people planning to return to Chennai from other parts of the state and guest workers are expected to come back, the government needs to be well prepared to accommodate them.
The demand for relaxation in e-pass procedure has increased, while many political parties have demanded public transport to be operated with necessary preventive measures.
INCREASE ‘TEST PER POSITIVE CASE’
The state witnessed a marginal drop in the spike of positive cases in the last seven days. The total positive cases are 2,79,144 with an increase of 39,166 cases in one week, a drop from 47,014 cases in the previous week. The higher number of deaths in spite of the falling number of positive cases is another major concern to be addressed.
The government has claimed credit for the reduction in cases, but experts feel the drop is an outcome of lesser tests per positive case. The state is doing around 10 tests per positive case, while the recommended number is 50 per positive case. The epidemiologists have suggested intelligent testing, fast results on tests, tracking and mitigation techniques to be carried out at the earliest.
The state has done away with the antigen tests, as there are more errors in test results. The delay in obtaining the results done using the RT-PCR kits is a disadvantage, as the individuals can become carriers.
GOVERNOR, PEOPLES’ REPRESENTATIVES TEST POSITIVE
The governor, Banwarilal Purohit, tested positive after being asymptomatic. Three more members of legislative assembly and three members of parliament have tested positive for the viral infection this week. Nagapattinam MP, R Selvaraj, Sivagangai MP Karti P Chidambaram and Mayiladurai MP, S Ramalingam are infected by the virus.
MLAs of Thiruvadanai R Karunas, Poompuhar S Pavunraj, Vasudevanallur R Manoharan have tested positive, taking the tally of infected MLAs to 24, including four ministers.
Also read: COVID-19: Cases Continue to Spike, Even as Discharges Cross 1 Lakh in Tamil Nadu
Around 20 doctors have lost their lives in the fight against the pandemic in the state. The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has said that a list of 18 doctors have been submitted to the government. The IMA would submit the total list of deceased doctors to the government and seek Rs 50 lakh compensation for the family.
ONLY 11% ACTIVE CASES IN CHENNAI
The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has witnessed a continuous drop in positive cases over the past few weeks. The last seven days saw 7,331 cases, taking the total infections in the capital city to 1,06,096 cases, with only 11% active. The three previous weeks have reported less than 9,000 cases, bringing a big relief to the residents. The mortality rate stands at 2.12% with 2,248 total deaths so far.
The number of cases per day remained close to 1,000 in the last seven consecutive days. The contribution of positive cases has continuously declined over the past several weeks and stands at 38% now. The other districts of the state recorded a drop in new cases, with 31,835 infections compared to 38,694 cases in the previous week.
The districts are pushing hard to contain the spread, but the efforts still lag on focused testing and containment. The number of tests done in each district is still unavailable.
RESTART PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The government on July 29 announced the suspension of public transport till August 31, much to the disappointment of the common people. The shops and establishments are open now, with increasing customers. However, the workforce, a large percentage being women, is left with no option for transport.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), wrote separately to the Chief Minister to restart the state transport services. The parties also demanded to withdraw the mandatory e-pass system for travel to other districts. Many incidents of bribing for e-pass permission also have been reported in the state, exposing the holes in the system.
Many people have taken to the social media platforms to express their agony over the denial of e-pass for emergency requirements. People living closer to the district borders, particularly in the surroundings of Chennai remain the most affected, as travelling to work also needs e-pass, which are rejected in the majority of the cases.