Chennai, Jul 27 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka crossed the grim milestone of one lakh COVID-19 cases while Tamil Nadu logged nearly 7,000 fresh infections for the third straight day on Monday as the sharp spike in recent weeks continued unabated in the southern states.
Kerala's tally inched toward the 20,000 mark and Telangana saw the total infection count beach the 55,000 mark while the cumulative cases rose to 2,872 in the tiny union territory of Puducherry as the six together added 20,629 fresh cases and their aggregate shot to 5.02 lakh.
A total of 291 deaths were reported on Monday from these states with Tamil Nadu accounting for the maximum of 77 closely followed by Karnataka with 74 fatalities, according to bulletins issued by respective states.
The cases have been rising in the region since last month when the lockdown norms were eased and thousands of people returned even as testing had been given a push.
The worst hit was Andhra Pradesh where the COVID-19 count doubled in just eight days as the day's 6,051 cases pushed the tally to 1,02,349. It had crossed the 50,000 mark on July 20.
East Godavari district registered a high of 1,210 cases.
After 16,86,446 tests were completed on Monday, the COVID-19 positivity rate in the state shot past the 6 per cent mark, a record high.
From 15,252 confirmed cases on July 1, the number swelled to the current level as every district in the state has been witnessing a severe surge in the pandemic.
The toll rose to 1,090 with 49 fresh deaths.
The state now has 51,701 active cases after a total of 49,558 patients had recovered, a bulletin said.
COVID-19 cases in Karnataka spiralled to 1,01,465 as the state reported the biggest single-day spike of 5,324 new infections and 75 fatalities, taking the death toll to 1,953, the health department said.
The day also saw 1,847 patients getting discharged, taking the cumulative recoveries to 37,685.
Tamil Nadu reported highest single day spike of 6,993 cases, taking the tally to 2,20,716 while 77 deaths propelled the toll to 3,571.
The state has added 45,038 cases since last Monday while the active cases stood at 54,896 and recoveries touched 1,62,249, including 5,723 people discharged today.
Chennai accounted for 95,857 cases of the state's tally.
In Kerala, at least 43 health workers were among the 702 people who tested positive while 745 others recovered, as the state's total infection tally touched 19,727.
The death toll climbed to 63 with two more fatalities from Kozhikode and Kottayam districts, while 9,611 people were presently under treatment, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
A total of 10,054 patients have recovered so far and over 1.55 lakh people were under observation, he told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.
Telangana's total infection count rose to 55,532 with the addition of 1,473 cases, including 506 from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) areas, a government bulletin said on Monday, providing data as of 8 pm on Sunday.
With eight more deaths, the COVID-19 toll in the state rose to 471. The death rate was 0.85 per cent as against 2.3 per cent in the country, it said.
As many as 42,106 people have recovered from the infection so far, while 12,955 were under treatment.
Puducherry logged 86 new cases, pushing the overall tally to 2,872 and the toll increased to 43 with three more deaths.
It has 1,109 active cases, an official statement said. PTI DBV VGN UD KSU SJR COR VS VS