TN records single-biggest spike in COVID-19 cases

Tamil Nadu records single-biggest spike in COVID-19 cases; tally crosses 22,000

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In the biggest-ever single-day surge since the outbreak began in March, Tamil Nadu on Sunday registered a record 1,149 positive coronavirus patients, including 95 persons who returned from abroad and other states, even as the death toll mounted to 173.

There was no respite from the positive cases for Chennai, the state capital, which reported 804 cases on Sunday, the highest in a single day so far, taking the tally in the metropolis to 14,802.

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With today’s biggest surge, the total number of Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu stands at 22,333 with 173 deaths – 13 of which were reported on Sunday alone – and 12,757 discharges.

The increasing number of people losing their lives to Covid-19 is also a concern for the state, which has been maintaining that it has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country below 1 percent.

And the Health Department also classifies the deaths into exclusive Covid-19 deaths and Covid-19 deaths due to co-morbidities, which experts say is not the right way to deal with the situation.

Data released by the government says May has been the worst month for the state with 145 of the 173 deaths being reported in the 31-day period. Also, the month saw the state moving from a mere 2,526 positive cases on May 1 to 22,333 cases on the last day of the month.

Though the number of positive persons is growing every passing day, the testing numbers have not seen much of an increase with 12,807 persons being tested on Sunday. However, the state boasts of possessing 72 labs that conduct tests for Coronavirus.

This is despite an expert committee appointed by the state government asking it to ramp up testing to ensure the virus does not spread further. Doctors treating Covid-19 patients and experts told DH that while increased testing is the need of the hour, the government should focus on ensuring compliance of physical distancing, wearing of masks, and other precautions that are followed universally.

Though the government is in denial, experts say Chennai is grappling with wide-spread community transmission as hundreds of people with “absolutely no travel or contact history” having contracted the virus.

Dr. Ram Gopalakrishnan, Senior Consultant, Infectious Diseases with Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, said there is “wide-spread” community transmission within the metropolis and that there is no second opinion on the issue.

“There is widespread community transmission within Chennai. We in the medical profession see patients who have absolutely no risk factors like contacts or travel but turn out to be positive. Within Chennai, there is no question that community transmission is happening. Outside Chennai, it is probably true that there is little or no community transmission,” Dr. Gopalakrishnan told DH last week.

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