Catching them early, that is how TN managed to contain the Covid-19 mortality rate in Chennai


Chennai has become the second city after Delhi to report over 80 per cent recovery in Covid-19 cases. Among the top five cities most affected by the virus, Chennai has the lowest fatality rate at 1.63 per cent and Ahmedabad the highest at 6.44 per cent.

In Chennai, the recovery rate has been the fastest in the last two weeks – from 60 per cent on July 1 to 80.06 per cent on July 17. Due to the recovery, the number of active cases dropped significantly to 15,038 as against 22,610 on July 1.

The number of daily new cases in the city had declined by nearly half from a peak of 2,393 reported on June 30.

City

Confirmed positive cases

Deaths

Recovered

Fatality rate (%)

Recovery rate (%)

Mumbai

9,7950

5,523

67,830

5.64

69.25

Chennai

82,128

1,338

65,748

1.63

80.06

Delhi

1,18,645

3,545

97,693

2.99

82.34

Ahmedabad

23,780

1,532

18,627

6.44

78.33

Pune

48,668

1,237

18,042

2.54

37.07

Source: Government data

The worst Covid-affected areas of Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-vi-ka Nagar, Anna Nagar and Teynampet in the city also reported over 80 per cent recovery rate, according to Greater Chennai Corporation data. In Tondiarpet and Royapuram which collectively reported more than 16,000 positive cases, the recovery was 88 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.

A senior government official said that the good recovery rate has been due to early detection of symptoms through concerted efforts like door-to-door survey; conduct of nearly 500 fever camps every day.

Ram Gopal Krishnan, Consultant Infectious Diseases, Apollo Hospitals, said that the most important factor in the higher recovery rate is early recognition, testing and treatment. Earlier, doctors and the public would be reluctant to consider the diagnosis of Covid for fever unless symptoms were classic or there was a history of travel. “Now we realise that Covid is by far the commonest cause of fever, and we are more familiar with the disease manifestations. So cases are being tested, isolated and treated earlier with better outcomes,” he said.

Key progress

The most important advance in Covid treatment is the recognition that widespread use of dexamethasone, a cheap and widely available steroid, saves those with at least moderately severe disease. Also the need to prevent blood clots with blood thinning medicines, ensuring prone position for patients requiring oxygen and avoiding ventilator use as far as possible is widely recognised. All these have facilitated the recovery of Covid patients, he said.

Meanwhile, to improve the mortality rate use of plasma therapy successfully cured 18 Covid-19 patients in Chennai and one in Madurai. Following this, a plasma bank will be soon set up at the RGGH at a cost of ₹2 crore. This will be India’s second plasma bank after the first at Delhi, said Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami recently.

BCG vaccine will be administered on a trial basis for adults aged 60-95 to reduce the Covid mortality rate in senior people. The National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis will start the pilot program soon, State Health Minister C VIjayabaskar said in a tweet.





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