Tamil Nadu has been witnessing a grim challenge brought by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in containing the rampant spread of the virus. The state has been reporting unprecedented surges of cases in a single day in the second wave triggering the government to impose strict restrictions and curfew as the measure to mitigate the spread. However, the pandemic displays that it has gone deep into the state.
The dreadful scale of infection has taken the state to record one of the heavy caseloads in India and for the past few days, the state has been reporting over 15,000 cases in a single day amid the oxygen crisis and flawed medical infrastructure. On Thursday, the health authorities revealed which are the districts that have a high positivity rate, contributing to the surge in the state's total caseload.
The health authorities said that more than 15 of every 100 people tested for COVID-19 in Chennai, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin returned positive for the viral infection. On Thursday, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan has acknowledged that cases are increasing everywhere. The reports say that though the government didn't impose the complete lockdown, it has asked the district administrations to accelerate the testing and enhance the mechanism to trace the contact.
According to the health officials, Chennai, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin had reported having the highest positivity rate in the state. In Chennai, the positivity rate was the highest as 20 of every 100 people tested had returned positive for the viral infection, and following Chennai, Tirunelveli has reported 17 of every 100 people tested positive while the number stood at 16 in Tuticorin. The test positivity rate in Tenkasi was 14.2% and at least 13 more districts had a positivity rate above 10%.
The high positivity of above 15 in these districts had displayed the possibilities that these districts could face the complete lockdown from May. Earlier, the Union Health Ministry has recommended the complete lockdown in 150 districts across India which had reported 15% of the positivity rate. The Central government is yet to seek consent from the respective state governments over imposing complete lockdown and if it's imposed, Chennai, Tirunelveli, and Tuticorin could go under the complete lockdown.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu has reported 17,897 fresh cases, which had become the highest-single day rise recorded by the state since the outbreak began. The state also has reported 15,542 fresh discharges and 107 fresh deaths. It is for the first time deaths had breached the three-digit mark in 2021 and with 40 deaths, Chennai had the highest daily number since March 2020. Chennai had also reported high active cases in the state with 31,308 active cases so far as of Thursday.
On Thursday, the state government has opened 150 oxygen beds and 100 non-oxygen beds at Women and Children Hospital in Egmore. The health department has been installing additional beds at the hospitals and other establishments like Chennai Trade Center to accommodate and treat the Corona patients. The reports say that the state will add at least 8,225 beds to state-run Covid hospitals in Chennai by May 7.
According to the state health department, Tamil Nadu has reported 11,48,064 COVID cases so far as of Thursday of which 1,12,556 are active, 10,21,575 have been discharged, and 13,933 had succumbed to the viral infection. At least 34 of the 37 districts had reported over 100 cases on Thursday and 22 districts had reported fatalities.