Chennai: The prospects of Tamil Nadu lifting the lockdown after May 3 looks bleak as the State records 161 COVID-19 positive cases on Thursday – the highest reported on a single day so far.
Chennai has now accounted for the lion’s share of 85 per cent of the total cases. For the first time, after the first positive case was reported on March 7, the State has recorded 161 cases, the highest on a single day, taking the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in Chennai to 2,323. Luckily, no death was reported on Thursday, and the death toll remained at 27, said the official bulletin.
Today, for the third successive day, the State has recorded positive cases in three digits – 121 cases on Tuesday, 104 cases on Wednesday and 161 on Thursday. Chennai has continued to be the hotbed for the virus, as 138 of 161 cases were reported in the State’s capital, taking the total number of positive cases in the city to 906.
“Most of the cases were reported in the northern parts of Chennai, where the density of population is very high. As many as 55,000 people per sq km live in north Chennai,” said officials.
“Apart from the density of population, failure to practice social distancing, wearing masks and largescale violation of lockdown also contributed to the higher number of positive cases,” they added.
Positive cases were also reported in 14 other districts in the State on Thursday, including five each in Madurai and Chengalpattu. A total of 9,643 people and 9,787 samples were tested for the virus on Thursday.
Thursday also saw 48 people, who were undergoing treatment in various hospitals after testing positive for the virus, discharged after complete recovery.
“So far, 1,258 people have been discharged and the ‘active cases’ stand at 1,035,” the bulletin reported.
Meanwhile, an expert medical team, comprising of eminent doctors, held discussions with Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and opined against lifting the lockdown in total after May 3. Pointing that COVID-19 virus was unevenly distributed in the State, the team said the situation varied from district to district and the lockdown could not be lifted in total.
“The team has prescribed indicators, based on which, the government could ease the restrictions in the districts,” suggested Dr Pradeep Gour, a representative of ICMR, heading the team.
“As the virus will be with us for sometimes, we need to change our lifestyle. Social distancing, hand washing and the wearing of masks should become part of our lifestyle,” she added.
The Government will take a call on the lockdown in the cabinet meeting, scheduled for May 2.