The large number of migrant labourer population makes Coimbatore more susceptible to the virus. Photo: PTI

TN lowers COVID reproduction number, but Kovai factories churn more cases

Tamil Nadu continues to have new cases above 30,000 each day as the reproduction number is 1.1 for the state as a whole while that of Coimbatore is 1.2. This means across the state as well as in Coimbatore, an infected person is able to transmit the virus to more than one person.

Reproduction number is a main tool in mathematical models to show how the virus spreads. In Chennai, the reproduction number is 0.9 which means that less than one person is infected by a positive person. Thus if a positive person infects two, the reproduction number is 2. Tamil Nadu’s reproduction number is also declining as while it was 1.08 on May 26, it has declined to 1.1 on Thursday.

The success of the Chennai model needs to be followed by Coimbatore for the new cases to come down.

The problem in Coimbatore is the sub-urban and sub-rural areas of the city. “The number of new cases from the core Coimbatore Corporation areas have declined in the last few days. But the number of new cases are from Sulur, Tudiyalur, Annur and Mettupalayam,” said a Coimbatore Corporation official not willing to be named.

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Sulur and Tudiyalur are industrial areas. “Despite intense lockdown, many industries in these two areas continue to function and workers in these factories are infected. Coming out these workers infect others. Nearly 10 per cent of the new cases are from Sulur area and nearly 6 per cent from Tudiyalur area,” said the official.

He said Annur and Mettupalayam contribute not less than 3 to 4 per cent of the new cases daily as work is going on in some factories and companies.

Coimbatore Corporation meanwhile is going to increase the door-to-door checking as being done in Chennai which has faced success in breaking the virus chain to a great extent.

“We are checking residents in many areas but unlike Chennai residents of many areas in Coimbatore refuse to provide any details. Unless residents come out with details as to whether anyone has fever, cold or cough, we will not be able to provide any help,” said the official.

Residents of areas like Ganapathy are complaining that not even one Corporation official has visited the area which can even be made a containment zone.

“We are living in a gated community with 98 apartments. Not even once a corporation has sent any official to check or ask for details from the residents. In the area, we have come to know many have been infected. Unless proper steps are taken, we will not be able to bring down the new cases,” said V Radha, a resident of Ganapathy.

Residents also complain that there is a shortage of vaccines and medicines.

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