Tamil Nadu records another high in COVID cases

Deccan Chronicle.  | D Sekar & M R Venkatesh

Nation, Current Affairs

Total number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 breached the 11,000-mark

Workers wearing protective suits wait to screen and verify documents of migrant labourers in Chennai. (PTI)

Chennai: Tamil Nadu lived down another day of highs on Sunday, as the total number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 breached the 11,000-mark to hit 11,224, even as the state's death toll shot up to 78 with the Health department confirming four more deaths due to the virus.  

For a single day, there was a 33 per cent jump in Covid-19 positive cases to 639 from Saturday's 477, but this again includes 81 infections among returnees from other States into Tamil Nadu.

A maximum of 73 of those new positives came from people returning from Maharashtra, three from Telangana, two each from Karnataka and Rajasthan and one from Andhra Pradesh. Even discounting those numbers, Chennai alone still had 480 cases.

The overall death rate continues to be flat, partly because of a leap in the number of samples tested. Second, the discharge rate of cured patients is steadily moving up (4,172 as on Sunday), while there has been a drop in the number of "active" coronavirus cases from 7,365 on May 14, to 6,971 on May 17.

It is the Chennai hot-spots and rising positive cases among returnees from abroad and other states, which raises concern for now.

The Chennai picture continues to be truly grim for the Health department. The bulk of the 'active' corona cases (5,219 as on May 17) are in the metropolis, which also accounts for a maximum of 53 deaths of a total of 78 so far.

The corporation zones of Royapuram (1,112 positive cases), Kodambakkam (973), Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar (750) and Tyenampet (669 cases) are among the hot-spots in the city. Even among the four deaths confirmed today, two were from neighbouring Thiruvallur district and two cases from the city.

However, 46 of the areas declared 'containment zones' in greater Chennai were deleted from that list today and the barricades in those areas removed, official sources said.

Out of the 849 persons travelling by a special train from New Delhi to Chennai, who arrived here on May 14, only two travellers tested positive for the virus. This is the sort of tenuous balancing the city has been witnessing. The tests of another train load of 847 passengers from Delhi are under process, the Health department said.

Ten lakh PCR kits to come from South Korea

Meanwhile, Health department sources said that Tamil Nadu was awaiting the receipt of ten lakh PCR (the confirmatory test for novel coronavirus) test kits from South Korea, which the State has ordered.

The first batch of one lakh PCR kits reached here on Sunday and the remaining consignments will arrive over the next nine weeks, at the rate of one lakh PCR kits per week, the sources added. This may help Tamil Nadu meet its rising demand for testing samples for the virus, not just going for symptomatic persons.