Chennai: With over 5 lakh infected persons having recovered from the novel coronavirus, Tamil Nadu has posted a high recovery rate of around 90%, among the badly COVID-19-hit states.
As per the state government's health bulletin, Tamil Nadu has so far reported over 5.58 lakh COVID-19 infections, of which, around 46,000 cases are still active.
In a video interaction with the Chief Ministers of states that are badly hit by the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen appreciating Tamil Nadu’s efforts in mass testing, tracing and isolation.
Commending the people and the state government, PM Modi said that Tamil Nadu presented itself as an example to other states for having controlled the spread of the virus.
In interaction with the Prime Minister, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami stated that he had personally toured 26 districts to review the performance in the fight against the pandemic.
Emphasizing that the state was only employing the highly reliable RT-PCR tests, he said that over 66 lakh samples have been tested across the state’s 66 government and 110 private labs, with an average testing capacity of 85,000 RT-PCR tests per day.
Adding that the daily testing alone cost Rs 6.8 crore, the CM Edappadi K Palaniswami requested the Centre to fund at least 50% of the cost of the PCR tests from the PM–CARES fund, owing to the financial difficulties faced by the state government.
"The State has maintained a low death rate, which is now at 1.62%, one of the lowest in the country. As on date, in no district, the positivity rate is above 10%, deaths due to COVID have also been reduced from an average of 100 deaths per day to around 70 deaths per day. The positive cases per day in Chennai have now been reduced below 1000 from around 2,300 in the month of June 2020," the Chief Minister explained the Prime Minister.
Adding that the state government had placed orders for 5.25 crore triple-layer face masks, 48.05 lakh N-95 masks, 44.61 lakh PPE kits and 63.25 lakh RT-PCR testing kits, the Chief Minister urged PM Modi to increase the package of Rs 712.64 crore allotted to Tamil Nadu to Rs 3000 crore.
Mentioning that the state exchequer had fully exhausted the State Disaster Response and Mitigation Fund, he requested an ad-hoc grant of Rs 1,000 crore rupees from NDRF immediately to fight the pandemic.
From September 1, in line with Unlock 4.0 aimed at reviving economic activity, Tamil Nadu has resumed to near-normalcy.
Only academic institutions, cinema halls, swimming pools, amusement parks, big auditoriums, beaches, zoos, museums, tourist places and similar public places remain shut, until further notice.
While all modes of transport are allowed to ply (even if in limited numbers), suburban trains alone are yet to resume services.
Religious, political, social, cultural, educational events and celebrations also remain restricted.
While Tamil Nadu has done away with the e-passes for inter-district travel, the state still follows the e-pass system for inter-state travel.
The government maintains that the e-pass system is being retained to keep track of the flow of persons entering and exiting the state.
However, the passes for inter-state travel are offered on an instant approval basis, once applied on the state's web portal.