More infections, lower fatality rate: Medical officials explain coronavirus situation in Tamil Nadu

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Abhilash MahajanUpdated: Jun 09, 2020, 03:07 AM IST

File photo Photograph:(IANS)

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For understanding what the situation is like WION talked to top medical officials in Tamil Nadu, who are leading the fight against COVID-19

On Monday, Tamil Nadu yet again witnessed a record number of coronavirus cases, 1,562 to take the overall count to 33,229. For several days, the TN is the worst-hit state in the country after Maharashtra. 

However, compared to the number of cases it has reported, the state has seen very few deaths, 286, which means the fatality rate is less than one per cent when nationwide rate stands at about 2.8 per cent.

For understanding what the situation is like WION talked to top medical officials in Tamil Nadu, who are leading the fight against COVID-19. 

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Dr P. Vasanthamani, Dean of Government Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, one of the earliest coronavirus facilities in the state, told us that the main reason behind a lot of cases in the state is because it tests more. She also said that Chennai is "thickly populated, crowded" and have slums because of which a majority of cases in the state are from Chennai.  

Dr Raju, deputy director of a coronavirus testing lab in Chennai, backs this point and adds: "The reason is...that Tamil Nadu govt is scrupulously following the guidelines issued by the govt of India, ICMR". 

Raju also said that they knew very early that there would be a huge demand for testing, so they started making preparations for it and the officials dedicatedly ensured that testing capacity in the state improves.

Recent reports have claimed that because of a high number of cases in the state, hospitals are struggling to admit patients as they are running out of beds, ventilators, and other treatment-related equipment. 

Vasanthamani denies these reports and said, "there is no shortage of beds". 

She explained that all city medical college hospitals are admitting only severe and very severe cases. 

Vasanthamani said that there are four levels for managing coronavirus patients, adding that mild and asymptomatic and mild cases are admitted in COVID Care Centres and mild and symptomatic patients are given treatment in screening centers. 

"In Chennai itself, 20,000-30,000 beds are ready for admission," the dean said. 

Tamil Nadu has also been praised for controlling the number of fatalities despite being the state having second-most number of cases. 

Raju has an answer for this and he explains that their strategy is to focus on high-risk patients, who require hospitalistion. 

Vasanthamani said that for the treatment of moderate and severe patients, they recently started an early protocol, called Low-Molecular-Weight Herapin, under which many patients got recovered. 

"So if you put 100 patients under this protocol, almost 95 patients recover within a day or five days", adding that this is why the death rate is less.