CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Health minister Dr C Vijayabaskar launched a special campaign, "wear mask, save life", on Twitter on Wednesday, as the state witnessed its largest single-day rise in COVID-19 cases at 1,286. This has taken the total coronavirus cases tally in the state to 25,872. The health department confirmed 11 more deaths to take the death toll to 208, with the fatality graph for the first time inching upwards.
"TN Govt is taking all measures to ensure safety from #COVID19 pandemic, at the same time implementing #unlock1 to revive the economy & the livelihood of its people. With Citizen partnership it is easier to overcome this crisis. Request your compliance to the measures of the govt.," tweeted Dr Vijayabaskar, reflecting the grim mood in the state health department.
The Health Minister's tweet came amid others on Twitter questioning whether things were going wrong again, after the initial two large cluster of COVID-19 positive cases -- Tablighi Jamaat meet and the Koyembedu wholesale market. But this time, as the Health Minister said that the problem stems from a large number of incoming persons from other states and abroad coming into Tamil Nadu by various means and testing positive.
The incoming passengers who tested positive today added up to 42 -- including two who returned from UAE and 13 from Dubai. Among domestic passengers coming by road/trains, 16 persons were from Maharashtra, five from Delhi, three from Gujarat. The total number of samples tested today was also a record 14,101 for a single day.
However, the fresh cases in greater Chennai alone beat all previous single-day records to touch 1,012 cases on a single day, which the public health officials attribute to much higher levels of testing in the municipal corporation limits. This was followed by Chengalpattu district throwing up 61 positive cases on a single day, Thiruvallur - 58, Kancheepuram -19, Thoothukudi -17 and Tiruvannamalai -16 positive cases.
Among the 11 fatalities confirmed today, the age-group of coronavirus patients ranged from a 47-year-old male from Chennai, who died at Kilpauk medical college hospital due to respiratory failure after testing positive for COVID-19, a 48-year-old male from Chengalpattu with hypertension problem, to an 80-year-old patient from Chennai who died in a private hospital with added medical complications like TB and acute coronary syndrome, says the death report.