Chenai: Tamil Nadu experienced the highest per-day spike in number of persons testing positive for Covid-19 in May so far at 827, taking the cumulative coronavirus positive patients to 19,372. The death of 12 more patients confirmed on Thursday took the state's death toll due to the virus further to 145. Chennai alone reported 559 positive cases today.
Of the 827 new cases reported today, returnees from other States both by train and domestic air travel, accounted for as high as 127 on a single day, including four passengers testing positive at the domestic airport here and the bulk of the train passengers testing positive for Covid-19 being from Maharashtra (74) followed by Karnataka (20) and Punjab (eight cases).
Health Minister, Dr C Vijayabaskar said 1,253 returnees from other Indian states alone in recent days have tested positive for the virus, and a further big push in this direction was expected as 24,562 persons have obtained ePasses to travel to Tamil Nadu from other States. They are all now in the travel process and their testing at check-posts will throw up more cases.
"Rising numbers should therefore not be a cause for alarm or fear among the people as the Government led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is fighting a grim battle against the disease and has geared up the administration including the health infrastructure to be ready for any eventuality," Dr Vijayabaskar said.
Urging people yet again to cooperate with the government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infection by following simple rules like wearing facial masks and observing social distancing norms, Dr Vijayabaskar also had an appeal to opposition parties like the DMK "not to indulge in politics of rising numbers." Tamil Nadu's patients recovery rate is among the highest in the country and its mortaliy rate still lowest at 0.70 per cent, he emphasised.
Stating that on Thursday alone 12,246 samples had been lifted for testing from suspected coronavirus patients across the State, Dr Vijayabaskar said with 4,55,216 tests done as on date, Tamil Nadu has done the maximum number of Covid-19 tests in the country.
All these data were being shared with the public daily and with bodies like the ICMR in a transparent way, but this was not the time for politics, he said dismissing DMK's charges that the State was hiding the numbers. Both in terms of surveillance of the virus spread, containment and treatment, Tamil Nadu's frontline staff including doctors were 'battling it out very hard' that everyone should stand in solidarity with them, he urged.
The minister said while 'plasma' treatment has helped seven patients to recover so far, the crux of the strategy depended on people's cooperation as there is no medicine yet to cure this disease.
In greater Chennai, there seems to be no let up in the number of active coronavirus cases in six zones as on date, namely, Royapuram (2,252), Kodambakkam (1,559), Thiru.Vi.Ka. Nagar (1,325), Teynampet (1,317), Tondairpet (1,262) and Anna Nagar (1,046) patients....