Two reports make shocking claims on TN’s Covid management

A part of an internal report compiled by the Health and Family Welfare (HFW) Department in Tamil Nadu to present to officials at the highest level has shown data that is different from the COVID-19 data publicly reported by the State in its bulletins every day, The Hindu has claimed.

The report available with The Hindu had data till September 7. Compared with the media bulletin released for the same day, this data showed a difference of 26,224 additional COVID-19 cases admitted till then to different types of institutions (including home quarantine), and 414 more in the total deaths.

Antigen testing for Covid-19 has been available in several private diagnostic laboratories in the city for the past three weeks, but data from these tests is not being shared publicly and those tested positive are not being added to the state’s Covid-19 registry.

On Wednesday, four private labs in Chennai told TOI that they offer the tests for corporates and walk-in patients. The cost of the test varies between 1,600 and 1,750 depending on the lab and services such as home pick-ups when compared to 2,400-4,000 for the gold standard RT-PCR. The labs said they inform patients, ICMR and civic authorities when patients test positive.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami told the Assembly that the coronavirus infection had started receding in Tamil Nadu owing to the concerted efforts of the State government.

Responding to a debate on corona developments, Palaniswami said recovery rate was the highest in Tamil Nadu (89 per cent) while mortality rate the lowest (1.67 per cent) and it became possible due to precautionary measures taken by the government.

Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said of the 1.67 per cent mortality rate, only 0.3 per cent was actually because of this infection while the rest had died to co-morbidities. Speaking on this issue, Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin said the AIADMK had miserably failed in containing the infection and only due to this, the total number of cases had gone above five lakh till date.