COVID cases go down, but TN sees no respite from piling bodies

May alone logged around 10,000 fatalities with 400 people dying per day; however, experts say the deaths may decline in the coming days as the case fatality rate has begun to sink

The sudden increase in fatalities has put tremendous stress on crematoriums across the state. Representational image: iStock

The month of May was a trying one for Tamil Nadu which saw nearly 10,000 people dying of COVID-19.

While a total of 14,193 people had died between March and May, the number of fatalities shot to 23,754 by May 30. With one more day left for the month to end, the total deaths in the state is likely to cross 10,000 in a single month alone.

Though the positivity rate, reproduction number as well as the overall growth in the number of new cases are declining, the worry is about the number of deaths which is yet to witness a decline. Each day not less than 400 people are dying due to COVID in the state and the stress is on the crematoriums across the state.

Related news: TN lowers reproduction number, but Kovai churns out more COVID cases


But the good news is that the case fatality rate for Tamil Nadu has started to decline and in the coming days the number of deaths must also come down.

The fatality rate (number of people dying after being tested positive to COVID) which was 1.43 on April 1 declined to 1.19 on May 1 and on May 29, the rate was 1.14. Similarly the reproduction number for the state has gone below 1 and therefore the number of fresh cases will decline.

“Chennai has already peaked and cases are falling. Other districts too are almost at their peak,” said analyst Sumanth Raman.

“I expect cases to start falling across the state from the later part of this week and along with this deaths will also lower,” said Raman.

“Usually there will be a delay in the deaths coming after the fresh cases start to decline. The delay or lag period is between two to three weeks and we can hope the deaths also decline in the coming weeks,” he said.

He said it usually takes on an average of 14-15 days for deaths to occur after infection. “As some districts like Coimbatore have more fresh cases, the deaths will not decline immediately and we can only hope to see less deaths in the second week of June,” he said.

Vaccination is the best remedy to make the COVID-19 curve bend across states, but vaccination has just started increasing in Tamil Nadu. “Vaccination rates are increasing but more people must have taken the jab by this time. There will always be new cases being reported at a lower base for next few months unless rapid vaccination is done,” said Raman.