Has Tamil Nadu missed the bus in Covid-19?

Despite efforts by the government, the daily count of novel coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu are increasing at an alarming rate. Many feel that the government has missed certain crucial things which have costed heavily.

“First was the Tablighi Jamaat returnees. Since religious angle was involved, the government feared to deal them in a stern way. Then came Koyambedu market. Again, officials succumbed to pressure from various quarters,” says an observer.

He adds: “Now the latest cluster is due to Chennai people who rushed to their native places from the metropolis after the government announced total lockdown last week. They are now spreading the pandemic in other districts.”

As many as 45 people died of Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu on Thursday even as the state reported 3,509 fresh cases. The death toll rose to 911 while the total number of cases reached 70,997.

A total of 30,064 patients are still under treatment while 39,999 people have been cured. Out of the 3,358 people who tested positive, 1,834 were in Chennai. Chennai’s neighbouring districts Chengalpet (191), Kancheepuram (98) and Tiruvallur (170) together logged 459 cases.

DMK president M K Stalin said the state government had wasted 90 days during the lockdown as it failed to control the spread of Covid-19. However, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said Stalin was the only leader in India who was politicising the Covid-19 outbreak.

There are 88 functioning Covid-19 testing facilities in the state so far out of which 41 are private while the rest belong to the government. According to the state government, a total of 32,543 samples were tested Thursday. Over 10 lakh samples have been tested for the virus lakh till date.