With 804 fresh cases, Chennai continued to worry officials and doctors. The city also had cascading effects on its neighbours. While Chengalpet logged 85 cases, Kancheepuram had 16 and Tiruvallur reported 47 cases on Sunday. The remaining 101 cases where spread among 18 districts including 45 from Tiruvannamalai. Infection rates among natives and guest workers continued to increase at a high rate, leading to fresh outbreaks in districts. The state had 95 returnees from other states and countries testing positive for the viral infection on Sunday. The number of patients reporting sick to hospitals and the number of people dying within the first 24 hours of admission have also increased.
“In the beginning, most people who tested positive were the young and active. They have now taken infection into their homes. A large number of elderly and the vulnerable are now being affected,” said National Institute of Epidemiology deputy director Dr Prabhdeep Kaur.
IN THE RED
Be prepared for spike in complications and deaths, say experts
Three weeks ago, on May 10, 503 (5%) people of 7,204 Covid19 patients were above the age of 60. This increased to 812 (7%) out of 1,124 cases on May17 and1,358 (8.3%) out of 16,277 on May 24. On Sunday, it touched 9% with 2,052 patients in the same age group. In addition, there was a huge increase in patients with heart, lung, and kidney ailments and cancer testing positive. Four people who died on Sunday did not have comorbidities and an equal number of them were below 60 years of age.
“We should be prepared to see an increase in the number of complications and death in the coming days,” warned infectious diseases expert Dr V Ramasubramanian, who treats Covid-19 patients at the Apollo Hospitals. On Saturday nearly a quarter of his patients required intensive care including ventilator support, he said.
Statehealth minister CVijayabaskar said government hospitals were also seeing an increase in number of people reporting sick. About a fortnight ago, when there were1,600 cases in the four medical college hospitals in Chennai, about 2% of them required high flow oxygen or ventilator. On Sunday, this figure shot up to 4%.
The state has decided to limit permissions for people opting for home care because they infect family members and report too late to hospitals when they develop complications. Over all, the number of people dying in the hospitals within 24 hours also went up from 35 cases on May 23 to 67 cases on Sunday. The bulletin on Sunday said that a 49-year-old man from Namakkal died on Friday 16 minutes after admission following respiratory failure.Hedid nothaveco-morbidities. On Saturday, a 39-year-old woman, who had kidney failure, died 34 minutes after admission.
The state is also drafting policies and standards of care for people above the age of 40. But the challenge has been increasing as the state has been consistently losing people in the 30s. On Sunday, the youngest patient to succumb to the disease on was a 37-year-old man from Kancheepuram,,
admitted to a private hospital on May 16 with complaints of breathing difficulty. He died on Friday due to acute respiratory distress syndrome. He too did not have any co-morbidities.
“Our old strategies of active quarantinehaven’tbeen working. Wehave notbeen abletocontain casesin zones such as Royapuram and Pulianthope,” said Greater Chennai Corporation nodal officer Dr J Radhakrishnan. “We will now chase, track and aggressively test close contacts. Those tested positive will be sent to Covid care centres or hospitals. In crowded areas, we will encourage people to go the quarantine centre, where they will be given Rs 1,000 at the end of quarantine period,” he said.