- Tamil Nadu has more than one and a half thousand new cases coming every day for the last 5 days, it is the second most infected state after Maharashtra.
- Senior Journalist of Tamil Nadu Vivek TR explains that the government controlled the cluster spread from Delhi Markaz here but it could not do so in case of Koyambedu market.
- Political analyst Dr. Sumant C. Raman says that the state government is increasing the number of beds in the hospital, but the high speed of new cases are making the situation difficult.
Jun 13, 2020, 06:02 AM IST
Chennai. Tamil Nadu is the second most infected state in the country with more than 40 thousand coronavirus infections. Initially, like other states, there was a general increase in cases, but then it continued to lead in this race. To find out how it got into this situation, look back a little, there are 2 big reasons – first Tablighi Jamaat and second Coimbatore.
The Tablighi Jamaat had abruptly increased cases in Tamil Nadu in the first week of April, it was also somewhat controlled but the Koyambedu market in the first week of May increased the infection so much that Tamil Nadu could not recover. Due to these two reasons, despite having the highest corona test in the country, the test positivity rate in Tamil Nadu has also increased steadily in the last 2 months.
The test positive rate in April was around 1%, it ranged between 4 and 6 in May and now it has reached 10% in June i.e. 10 people are getting infected in 100 tests. This is happening when 15 to 17 thousand tests are being done every day in Tamil Nadu.
Now let us start the story from the beginning…
Airport Screening: Until February 22, Chennai airport was screened for visitors from only 6 countries, while by this day Corona had reached 29 countries.
Screening at the airport in India began on 18 January. But it started at just 3 airports. Chennai International Airport, the fourth busiest in the country, was not included.
Chennai also joined this list from 21 January. These airports were merely orders for screening passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong. Passengers from both these countries were being screened at Chennai airport for the next one month, while by January 30, corona infections had been confirmed in 20 countries.
On 22 February, apart from China and Hong Kong, screening of passengers coming from Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia was also started but it also did not include countries like Italy and America where the number of Corona positive was more than 20-20. Was.
On 4 March, when the number of corona infections in the country reached 27, screening of all international flights was started. But it was probably late by then as the symptoms of corona were now starting to come back from abroad and cases were confirmed. On March 7, a 45-year-old man from Kanchipuram was found infected after returning from Oman. This was the first case of infection in Tamil Nadu.
Still, people coming from other states of India were not being screened here. On 18 March, a man returned from Delhi was found to be Corona positive. After this, the screening of domestic passengers was also started at Chennai Airport from 19 March. But it was also limited to travelers from Delhi and Kerala.
Delhi Markaz: Corona's first cluster in Tamil Nadu
On April 7, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Bila Rajesh confirmed a total of 690 corona infections in the state. Of these, 637 people had joined the Markaj of Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin area of Delhi. This means that 92% of the total infected were sourced. By this day, about 1427 people who had joined the Tablighi Jamaat from the state had been traced. This was the first case of sudden increase in infection in Tamil Nadu.
Senior Tamil Nadu journalist Vivek TR points out that there was a sudden rise in Corona cases in Tamil Nadu due to the Tablighi Jamaat but the administration controlled the cluster well by doing contact tracing and quarantine, but preventing infection from the Koyambedu market The government could not succeed.
Koyambedu market: the root cause of corona outbreak across Tamil Nadu
This wholesale market in the heart of Chennai is spread over 65 acres. In this market with more than 1000 wholesalers and more than 2000 retail shops, one lakh people have to visit every day on normal days. After the lockdown, the movement of people and business people reduced by 50%, but still this number was more than 40 thousand.
It was also the compulsion of the administration to keep this market of fruits, vegetables, cereals and flowers counted in the largest markets of Asia as it was the largest food supply market in many districts including Chennai.
According to Vivek TR, it was probably the biggest mistake of the Tamil Nadu government to keep this vegetable market running in such a crowded and large area, because from here the contact tracing of infected spread across the state could not happen and the cases increased.
The first infected was found in this market on April 24, exactly one month after the lockdown. After contact tracing, the entire market was closed on May 5, when the positives were received continuously from the market.
The condition was that when the number of corona infected reached 6500 in Tamil Nadu on 9 May, 1867 cases were related to the Koyambedu market. That is, 29% of the total cases were related to one area only. Corona infection was found among those returning from this market in Cuddalore district, two districts including Chennai, from Chengalpattu, Thiruvallur to 200 km.
Like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai is also a densely populated city.
Vivek TR also states that Chennai is a densely populated city, just like Delhi, Mumbai. These three cities have been the most affected by Corona. Cities like Kolkata and Bangalore were not included in this list because there was no testing at that level.
Vivke also says that most of the testing in Tamil Nadu was limited to Chennai. Other districts are being ignored. This may prove worse for the state.
Tamil Nadu government claims lowest death rate from Corona
Tamil Nadu is definitely the second most affected state of the corona, but compared to the rate at which new cases are coming up, there are very few deaths from corona here.
Dr. Sumant C. Raman, political analyst, says that the infection is more spread among young people than the elderly and the effect of corona on youth has been seen less. This may be one reason for the lower death rate.
Dr. Sumant also deals with deaths related to corona in the state by testing. They point out that Tamil Nadu is getting more corona tests as compared to other states. In other states, testing is being done only when symptoms are seen, in many cases there are reports of non-testing of normal symptoms, in such cases, only those infected in a critical condition in these states are tested. It becomes difficult to achieve. In such a situation, there is a higher death rate from corona, while in Tamil Nadu, tests are being done even after exposure to common symptoms and infected people. In time, infected people reach the hospital, this reduces the rate of deaths. Dr. Sumant also states that many such reports are also coming in the state that the deaths of corona infected are being hidden.
By the second week of July, the total number of infected is estimated to reach 1.5 lakh, how much is Tamil Nadu ready?
Dr. MGR Medical University has estimated the total number of infected to reach one and a half lakh by the second week of July in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Sumant C. Raman says that every day more than one and a half thousand cases are coming up in the state. The state government is also continuously increasing the capacity of hospital beds. But the way new cases are coming up, it will have to face a shortage of beds and Waitilators.
At present, every private hospital has also been instructed to keep at least 5 beds always available. If you look at the official website of Tamil Nadu government made for Kovid, the number of empty beds and veterinators is given in 161 such private hospitals. Currently, the number of empty beds in most hospitals is between 0 and 10. In some, this number is even more than 100. But the total number of ventilators available in these private hospitals is only 500.