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Chennai's Covid-19 Test Positivity Rate Breaches 10% Amid Easing of Travel Curbs

A healthcare worker screens residents in Chennai. (Photo: PTI)

A healthcare worker screens residents in Chennai. (Photo: PTI)

Tamil Nadu on Sunday saw 5,975 new Covid-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 3,79,385, while 97 fatalities took the death toll to 6,517, the Health department said.

Chennai's coronavirus test positivity rate has surpassed the 10% mark yet again, increasing from 7-8% amid an inflow of people in view of the easing of travel restrictions.

According to a report in The Times of India, official figures reveal that Chennai’s TPR, which stood at 7% for August 8-12 period, surged to 10.7% on August 22. TPR is the percentage of samples collected that tested positive. Notably, the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), advise that testing be ramped up if the TRP exceeds 10%.

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) tested over 14,000 samples on August 8 but now the number stands at around 12,000. On August 21, 12,982 samples were collected. This shows that there has been a decline in the number of tests amid rising TPR. Given this development, there are fears that the Covid-19 disease is advancing faster across Chennai.

However, many officials, who spoke to the publication quelled such concerns.

Greater Chennai Corporation commissioner G Prakash told ToI that the surge in the TPR coincides with easing in issuing e-pass. “The increase in TPR (test positivity rate) is because we have widened the testing. We had anticipated this,” he added while expressing confidence that the situation is under control.

Another official, an epidemiologist with the civic agency told the publication that testing undertaken by the civic body was sufficient. “However, there cases in the Central region (Zones 6-10) which may be because the city is now open,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu on Sunday saw 5,975 new Covid-19 cases, taking the overall tally to 3,79,385, while 97 fatalities took the death toll to 6,517, the Health department said.

Of the state's tally of 3,79,385 cases, Chennai's share crossed the 1.25 lakh-mark to reach 1,25,389, it said. According to the bulletin, 70,127 samples were tested

today, pushing the tally to 42,06,617.

Of the new infections, Chennai recorded 1,298 cases while neighbouring Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpet districts collectively contributed 928.