According to the Union Health Ministry, Tamil Nadu reported a 24.5% test positivity rate for 7 days from May 12 to 18 while the previous week – May 5 to May 11 – the TPR was 22.4%.

Health staff in PPE kits testing person Image courtesy: PTI
news COVID-19 Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 17:44

Tamil Nadu showed an increase in the COVID-19 test positivity rate (TPR) in the 7 days – May 12 to May 18 – according to a press briefing by the Union Health Ministry. The state recorded an average TPR of 24.5% over the last seven days. TPR is defined as the number of samples that return positive out of the total samples tested. It is a useful measure to determine the rate of spread of infection in a particular place.

The previous week – May 5 to May 11 – Tamil Nadu saw a TPR of 22.4%. The state’s TPR had also steadily increased from 14.7% for April 21 to 27 to 18.5% for April 28 to May 4.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu reported 33,075 new COVID-19 cases and 335 deaths. With this, the total official COVID-19 death tally in the state stands at 18,005. As of Monday, Tamil Nadu has a total active caseload of 2,31,596. Chennai recorded a small dip on Monday after 6,150 persons tested positive. However, the number of deaths in the district remained high, at 86.

On Monday night, the newly elected DMK government in the state passed an order making the lockdown stricter in Chennai from Tuesday. If a person needs to travel from one police station limit to another, they will have to apply for an e-pass, the order stated. People can travel only after getting an e-pass and within the allotted time – 6 to 10 am.

Chennai Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal issued orders to tighten restrictions by creating checkpoints at 13 places in 12 police districts in Chennai. The 12 police districts include Flower Bazar, Washermenpet, Madhavaram, Pulianthope, Anna Nagar, Ambattur, Kilpauk, Triplicane, Mylapore, St Thomas Mount, Adyar and T Nagar. The police station limits will be further divided into 348 sectors and the roads will be barricaded. The order said, “The restrictions are such that the public cannot travel from one police limit to another without an e-pass.”

The late-night order led to confusion across several roads in the city, with residents caught unawares as they attempted to cross police station limits without the mandatory e-pass. Policemen were seen stopping motorists and asking those without e-passes to return home.

Apart from Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur also reported an increase in TPR last week.