Chennai city continues to see a decline in the number of COVID positive cases. For the first time the daily number of cases has fallen by 944, which shows the spread of the virus has slackened. But experts continue to warn that citizens must not lower their guard and must get the vaccine.
Fewer cases in Chennai mean the reproduction number — the number of new cases infected by a positive person – has fallen to below 1, currently at 0.9. Thus if a positive person infects two more, the reproduction number is 2.
Tamil Nadu’s reproduction number, too, is declining and currently stands at 1.08. This means more than one person is infected by a new case compared to the previous weeks when the reproduction number was above 2.
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Chennai hit its peak on May 13 when the daily new cases reached 7,564 and since then it has been declining. It reached 4,041 on Tuesday (May 26).
Coimbatore, the new hotspot in the state, has reported the average positivity rate (May 17-24 week) in the textile city at 30.5%. The rate in Chennai has slightly dipped below 20% and is at 19.8%.
Since the overall reproduction number is around 1.08, the spread of the virus as well as new cases will also decline – it’s time for all to be vaccinated to prevent a new wave of the pandemic.
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The number of deaths is the biggest worry as on Tuesday. As many as 468 people died of Covid across the state and out of this, 88 died in Chennai alone. The number of deaths in the Chennai region consisting of Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpet and Kancheepuram was 184 or 40% of the deaths were in the Chennai region.
Four districts — Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Perambalur and Niligirs — recorded nil deaths and some districts like Tiruvarur recorded a single death.
Experts want the government not to lower the guard when the cases are coming down and use the time to vaccinate as many people as possible.
“From the government side, we are not going to lower the guard as we have experienced how the virus will bounce back. Similarly, the public must also wear masks, follow social distancing and, above all, must vaccinate as early as possible,” said a senior health department official.