COVID-19: TN's active infections go past 3 lakh

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Chennai, May 24 (PTI): Tamil Nadu recorded 34,867 new COVID-19 cases and 404 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Health Department said on Monday.

The fresh cases, including one returnee from neighbouring Puducherry, pushed the caseload to 18,77,211 and the deaths took the toll to 20,872, the department said.

According to a bulletin, 27,026 people were discharged today, taking the tally to 15,54,759 leaving 3,01,580 active infections.

Chennai reported further decline in new infections with 4,985 people contracting the contagion, totalling 4,83,757 till date.

The metropolis leads in the number of fatalities with 6,460 deaths.

The number of samples tested today was at 1,68,194 pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 2,64,69,766.

Besides Chennai, Chengalpet added 1,899 cases, Coimbatore 4,277 and Erode 1,467, Kanyakumari 1,083, Madurai 1,453, Thiruvallur 1,231, Thiruvannamalai 1,120, Tiruppur 1,808 and Tiruchirappalli 1,268 cases.

Cuddalore, Kancheepuram, Krishnagiri, Nagapattinam, Namakkal, Salem, Thanjavur, Theni, Thirupathur, Thiruvarur, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar reported new infections in excess of 500, the bulletin said.

Among the 404 deceased during the last 24 hours, 103 succumbed without any pre-existing illness, including a 21- year-old man from Salem who died of COVID-19 pneumonia, the bulletin said.

Earlier in the day, Medical Minister M Subramanian inaugurated an additional 104 beds equipped with oxygen support at the King's Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research in Chennai.

'The 650-bedded facility had 300 beds with oxygen support while 350 beds were normal beds. We are inaugurating an additional 104 beds fitted with oxygen support,' he told reporters.

On the vaccination drive in Tamil Nadu he said the State has received 77 lakh doses of vaccines of which 70 lakh have been administered.

'About 13 per cent of the vaccines were wasted and currently we have two lakh doses and they have already been distributed to districts,' he said.

To a query, he said currently based on the Chief Minister M K Stalin's advice, the government procured 13 lakh vaccines at a cost of Rs 46 crore to vaccinate the people aged between 18 and 44. Tamil Nadu commenced the vaccination drive for 18-44 years old on May 20.

'We have received 11 lakh doses (of the 13 lakh doses) and they will be distributed to districts. There is a plan to administer the vaccine to frontline workers in the 18-44 age groups', he said.

On the lockdown with more curbs which came into force from today, Subramanian said only with people's support can the virus chain be broken.

'So far, people have beeen extending their support to the government,' he said.

Commenting on the Chief Minister's Health Insurance Scheme, the Minister said as many as 890 hospitals in the State, including the private health care facilities, have been brought under the scheme and the government has appealed to the hospitals to display the fees for COVID-19 related treatments on their respective campuses.

The government has fixed the charges that have to be collected in private health care facilities to individuals who are covered under the insurance scheme.

'We appeal to the private hospitals to collect the prescribed fees only and if any complaint is received from a member of the public with proof of collecting 'excess charges' by a particular private hospital, the health department will take action,' he said.

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