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Chennai may see 19,000 cases per day by May 15: NIE | Chennai News – Times of India

Chennai may see 19,000 cases per day by May 15: NIE | Chennai News - Times of India

CHENNAI: Fresh cases of Covid-19 in Chennai will cross 19,000 on May 15, if the city does not bring down its present infection rate, epidemiologists at the National Institute of Epidemiology said here on Friday. This would also mean the city will have at least 1.25 lakh active Covid-19 cases, overwhelming the healthcare infrastructure, by May 15.
On Friday, NIE epidemiologist Dr S Manikanda Nesan tweeted his analysis challenging people in the city to prove his analysis wrong by following pandemic protocols – staying at home, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and getting vaccinated.
The rate of reproduction (r-naught) in Chennai is 1.3. This means every positive person infects more than 1.3 persons. “The exponential increase you are seeing in the daily cases is because the transmission rate is high. Unless we bring it below one, we will not see a decline in the number of cases,” said NIE deputy director Dr Prabhdeep Kaur.
Two months ago, the city was averaging 144 new cases a day. Amidst heightened political and religious activities and lack of adherence to pandemic protocols, daily cases in the city began to increase. A month later, in March, daily cases crossed
450. The average daily deaths increased to three from two in February. On Friday, the city reported 3,842 new cases and 37 deaths.
Data from the Greater Chennai Corporation showed that more than 218 streets in the city had more than 10 active cases each and 648 streets had more than six cases each. Access is restricted into these streets as they have all been declared containment zones, but officials including greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash have been urging people to follow pandemic protocols to bring down infection. “Step out only when you must. Wear a mask and maintain social distance when you are out. If you have symptoms of flu get yourself tested,” he said. The civic agency has even offered help transporting patients to screening centres, so they avoid taking public transport.
Hospitals — government and private — across the city were reporting more than 70% occupancy rate, and cases in 14 covid care centres were also steadily increasing. Most private hospitals were turning away patients as they did not have adequate oxygen beds. “We can’t just add beds and oxygen pipelines to admit more patients. We need nurses and doctors,” said an infectious diseases expert from a private hospital.


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