Tamil Nadu has recorded over 4000 COVID-19 cases for the first time in five months, on Thursday. Since November, the state has had less than 4000 cases a day. Thursday’s figures have put Tamil Nadu's total tally at 9.15 lakh and its active caseload is now 30,131.
In Chennai, the daily count was 1,520 on Thursday and the city's overall tally increased to 2.59 lakh. Chengalpattu and Coimbatore too have recorded a high number of cases at 398 and 427 respectively, while eight districts recorded over 100 cases. This includes Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur, Trichy, Thanjavur, Madurai, Nagapattinam, Salem and Tiruppur.
With the heat and dust raised by the election rallies and poll day fever settling down, the Tamil Nadu Health department and civic officials have stepped up efforts to detect COVID-19 cases while sensitising people to opt for vaccination without fail. Health workers recommenced door-knocks to thermal scan residents in addition to ascertaining if the people have taken the shots.
"We need some protection from the virus. So, vaccination is the best option now. Take the shots at the nearest health centre if you have not done so far," Naresh, a health worker, said. Like him, several health workers in Chennai are busy visiting the people and requesting them to get vaccinated at the earliest.
Meanwhile, a senior Health official said face mask compliance and stricter personal discipline were vital to prevent the virus spread. He advised people to watch out for symptoms and seek medical advice immediately if needed.
According to Dr TS Selvavinayagam, Director of Public Health (DPH) and Family Welfare, cooperation of the community is essential to contain the spread of the pandemic.
"Health system approach is the need of the hour. Complacency on the part of the citizens will see rise in cases again. So, vaccination is the best available tool as of now," he told PTI. As to the challenges the department has been facing for over a year, he said it "is keeping the team motivated for a year-long battle."
"We need to move on till a certain level of susceptible population develops immunity," he said.
According to well-known laparoscopic surgeon and founder of Lifeline Group of hospitals, Dr J S Rajkumar, patients all over the country want a vaccine that is hundred percent safe, and hundred percent protective against the virus.
India's vaccination production and distribution has catapulted it to a very high rank in terms of perception, all over the world, he said while stressing on the need for people to get inoculated. India's great advantage was the hundred plus day lockdown which shifted the curve of COVID-19 patients to the right, permitting the available logistics of healthcare to tackle the situation, he said.
Meanwhile, Chennai Corporation health workers and even the staff at the Amma mini clinics, a pet initiative of Chief Minister K Palaniswami, appealed to the public to safeguard themselves through the vaccine shots. After covering frontline workers, senior citizens and those above 45 years with comorbidities, the Union government has now extended the vaccination coverage to all above 45 years.
(With inputs from PTI)