The COVID-19 test positivity rate in Chennai may drop to about six per cent by the end of this month and concerted efforts were on to accomplish it, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner G Prakash has said.
The positivity rate, gradually has dipped to about 8.50 percent to 9.50 per cent now from 14-15 per cent last month,he said.
Another good outcome to several efforts was that thedoubling time has improved to 72.2 days in Chennai from 65 days a week ago and in divisions under north Chennai, it was awelcome 140-150 days, he said.
Efforts were on to replicate the improvement seen in thenorth of the city in other areas with relatively higher cases, he said. Soon, Chennai would complete eight lakh RT-PCR tests and tests per day again touched 14,000 on Friday from about 12,000on an average, he said.
"Experts feel that bringing the positivity rate to fiv eper cent could be a milestone. But it cannot happen suddenly and we could only hope for a gradual reduction. Based on our field work and according to the views of doctors, the positivity rate in Chennai could go further down somewhere between six per cent to 6.5 per cent by the end of this month," he told reporters on Saturday.
Concerted efforts were on to achieve better outcomes be it positivity or mortality rate, he said. Illustrating his point, he said specific interventions like admitting people with breathlessness and those with Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses to hospitals directly instead of waiting for tests to be completed has proved to be a "turning point."
So far, since July 25, about 675 such people have been admitted to hospitals and on an average, everyday about 20 people were being sent to healthcare facilities, he said. While the mortality rate in Chennai was presently 2.12 per cent, a priority was to bring it down to 1.5 per cent. Significantly, on August 7, Chennai's fresh coronavirus cases dipped below the 1,000 mark for the first time in the past over two months.
The state capital had recorded 809 cases on June 2 and from the next day, the infection count crossed the 1,000 mark.
On Friday, Chennai saw 984 new cases and the tally stood at 1,07,109.