However, this has not translated into a commensurate increase in the occupancy of beds at the Covid care centres across the city. Civic officials said only 1,400 of the 16,000 beds are occupied. There is no shortage of beds in city hospitals either, civic officials said.
Officials attribute this to people preferring home isolation to institutional care. A family in central Chennai told TOI that when two elders tested positive recently, civic officials gave them an option to get a certified medical opinion from their personal doctor that institutional quarantine was not needed.
“If patients have the option to isolate themselves in their home, mainly they should have a separate room with an attached bathroom, we allow that,” an official in a zone said.
The civic officials also give the patients the option of sending their personal doctor’s opinion through instant messaging applications. However, the patients have to check their blood pressure and oxygen saturation everyday and update the local civic officials. For those who don’t have a very low oxygen saturation, even the chest x-ray screening is being skipped.
Meanwhile, the COVID19 mortality rate in the city is steadily decreasing over the past few weeks. Currently, the figure stands at 1.9%, dropping .03 percentage points over the last one week itself.
However, data of deaths among individual zones shows that Anna Nagar and TVK Nagar zones alone account for close to one-fourth of the deaths in the last one week. Anna Nagar zone has witnessed 15 Covid-19 deaths, while TVK Nagar zone has witnessed 12 deaths. Kodambakkam recorded 11 and Valasaravakkam 10.
Earlier, Teynampet zone used to consistently record the highest number of Covid-19 mortalities. Overall, the zone still has the highest number of deaths at 419, but TVK nagar is just 0.01 percentage point lower as far as mortality rate is concerned. Tiruvottiyur still has the highest mortality rate at 2.7%t.