In what could bring cheer to scores of businesses across Tamil Nadu, Health Minister Mr. Ma. Subramaniam on Sunday said that Lockdown may be removed if cases continue to drop in the state. Chennai recorded around 6,383 cases on Saturday compared to over 9,000 per day a week back. Cases are declining, the Minister said while addressing the media.
Mr. Subramaniam said that over 1,57 lakh people were screened of which 30,580 tested positive. However, we lost 40 lives due to the virus and that many of them were unvaccinated. The death rate has been lower than the second wave, he said. Over 200,000 people have been tested positive and are undergoing medication/ treatment.
Test Positivity Rate (TPR) has dropped significantly for Chennai district which now ranks fifth among all others in the State, much to the relief of it’s citizens. The Sunday lockdown as well as several strict measures has made all the difference according to experts. In the previous waves, the city’s population had undergone severe stress not getting beds for hospitalisation as well as other difficulties which has ensured people are better prepared and more watchful this time, according to a senior Doctor in a city hospital which has seen among the most admissions for Covid-19 in the past 2 years.
Retailers are relieved this time around as the lockdown was just for 1 day in a week though Sundays drive huge footfalls to shops as well as eateries. With Muhurtam season ahead for weddings and other auspicious events, there is a severe pent-up demand which is expected to get satiated in the coming weeks. Retailers (incl. the Hospitality Industry) estimate over ₹1,500-2,000 crores of collective losses in the State in Jan. ‘22 due to the Sunday lockdown which excludes small & marginal business including all push carts and street vendors.
Retailer woes could finally end from the coming weekend if cases subside for the better.