With Omicron cases spreading fast in Chennai, the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) has witnessed a steep rise from 1 per cent to more than 9.6 per cent in just one week.
On December 28, before the spread of Omicron, the TPR was at 1 per cent. As many as 19,869 samples were tested on the day but only 194 turned out positive. Moreover, the TPR after the second wave had ebbed, was 0.5 per cent.
Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagandeep Singh Bedi said that the clinical picture has changed and the speed of COVID spread at present is very high indicating spread of Omicron variant. “Almost all the samples taken for Whole Genomic Sequencing are confirming presence of Omicron. We need to conduct more genomic studies to reaffirm,” he said.
Meanwhile, the number of active cases in Chennai crossed the 10,000 mark as 11,494 active cases were recorded on Thursday evening. The tally doubled in just two days. Following this, the civic body has instructed volunteers to visit homes of those under home isolation to check their oxygen saturation level and temperature. “The volunteers have been instructed to provide yellow bags to homes with infected people to ensure safe disposal of garbage. The volunteers should also help them get essential items,” a Corporation press release said. “The doubling of cases now is because of the Omicron variant as the Delta variant, even during its peak, did not lead to 10,000 cases a day,” noted virologist Dr T Jacob John said on Thursday. Elaborating, he said that more the surge, the quicker will the Omicron variant reach its peak and then start declining. “I expect the new variant to peak around the middle of February – after which I expect it to decline around the third week of march,” he added.
According to Corporation data, as many as 1,671 streets had 5,542 active cases as on Wednesday. The city has as many as 39,537 streets.
On December 28, before the outbreak of Omicron variant and when the city had 1,388 active cases, only 507 streets had positive cases.
Of the total 1,671 streets, around 1,390 streets had less than three cases, whereas 76 streets had five or more than five cases. “As the active cases increased in the last two days, the number of infected streets also increased,” an official said.
As per the data, the Teynampet zone, which had 702 active cases on Wednesday, had the highest number of streets with positive cases. The zone had 295 streets with active cases, of which 220 streets had less than three cases. Royapuram and Adyar had 193 and 170 streets with active cases respectively.
Among the zones, Manali had the lowest number of streets with active cases at 21. Tirivottiyur had 30 streets with active cases. Interestingly, zones such as Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madavaram, Ambattur, Alandur and Perungudi — all extended zones — did not have streets with more than five cases. Teynampet had the most number of streets with more than five cases with 24 streets.
Meanwhile, the civic body has converted the streets with more than five active cases as containment zones.