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Positivity rate down in Chennai but TN moves towards COVID peak

The number of cases, positivity rate and deaths are on the rise in Tamil Nadu, Chennai has become an exception with the average positivity rate for 10 days declining in the city. In other districts of the state, the average positivity continues to rise.

The average positivity rate, calculated from May 1 to May 10 and again from May 11 to May 20, shows the Chennai positivity rate has declined by 1.2 percentage points. In the first 10 days of the month, the average positivity rate in Chennai was 23.1% and the second 10 days ending on May 20, the average rate is 21.1%.

Also read: TN orders 1.5 cr COVID shots to boost vaccination drive beginning May 1

“It is a good sign that the average positivity rate in Chennai has declined. It shows the people followed the lockdown protocol in Chennai and in other districts as well,” said Covid data analyst Vijayanand.

Also, for the past eight days, the number of new cases in Chennai is below 7,000. On May 12, Chennai had 7,564 new cases but since then, but on May 18, it reached a low of 6,016.

On the flip side, the state’s data does show that the state may take some more days to reach the peak. The last 1 lakh new cases have been added in just three days. The total positive cases in Tamil Nadu crossed 16 lakh on May 17 when the daily bulletin showed 16.31 lakh cases, but on May 20, the number of cases crossed 17 lakh, with the daily bulletin showing 17.34 lakh cases.

Also read: Tamil Nadu’s new CM promises to bear cost of COVID treatment for all

But the state health department and experts say the average positivity rate coming down in Chennai is not a sign for celebration yet. The city has reported 95-98% occupancy in terms of oxygen and ICU beds.

“Lockdown is being strictly enforced across the state and more than 1.5 lakh samples are being tested on a daily basis. Cases in Chennai may not be growing much, but there is a concern with regard to Coimbatore and other major towns. Even a smaller district like Ariyalur is a concern. So we are in the process of bringing a district-level containment plan,” said a senior health department official.

Tamil Nadu’s positivity rate stood at 20.79% and experts believe the state may reach the peak by May-end.

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