to 4.3%, CM lauds healthcare personnel (Eds: Adds Chief Minister's quotes, minor edit in 2nd para) Puducherry, Oct 18 (PTI) In a welcome development, the union territory of Puducherry reported no fresh fatalities due to COVID-19 on Sunday for the first time this month while the test positivity rate dropped to 4.3 per cent.
The infection count rose to 33,141 with the addition of 177 cases while recoveries outnumbered the new infections with 306 patients being discharged after treatment from various hospitals during the last 24 hours ending at 10 AM today, an official said.
The toll remained unchanged at 574 as no death due to the coronavirus occurred during the period, Health and Family Welfare department Nodal Officer Ramesh said.
This was the first time there was no COVID-19 fatality this month in the UT, which has been witnessing a declining trend in number of deaths in recent days, he told a virtual press meet.
Ramesh said the fatality rate was 1.73 per cent and the recovery rate was 85.36 per cent.
The case positivity rate had also come down to 4.3 per cent, which 'is quite encouraging', he said, adding 177 new cases were identified from 4,072 samples in the last 24 hours.
There has been improvement in the pandemic situation in the UT in recent days after it had witnessed steady increase in cases and deaths in the past few months with the fatality rate touching the two per cent mark, above the then national average of 1.6 per cent, during September.
Meanwhile, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy hailed the good work of healthcare personnel, which helped reduce the incidence of COVID-19 while urging the people to continue to observe safety norms.
'No death has been reported in the union territory today and the number of positive cases has also come down projecting a picture of incidence of pandemic declining in a phased manner,' he told a virtual press conference.
However, people should not take things for granted and should continue to observe safety norms and ensure that the virus is kept at bay.
The Chief Minister said 17 per cent of the 15 lakh population in Puducherry had been tested so far.
He said teams of medical personnel, in association with staff of other departments, including police, had been putting in dedicated service to help restore normalcy in a phased manner here.
'We have taken care of manpower requirements, ramped up infrastructure and other facilities in government hospitals entrusted with the task of treating coronavirus patients,' he added.
Of the new cases reported on Sunday, Puducherry accounted for 131, followed by Karaikal (24), Yanam (six) and Mahe (16).
A total of 2.63 lakh samples had been sent for testing, of which 2.26 lakh were found negative and results of the remaining were awaited, the Health department official said.
The overall COVID-19 cases in Puducherry (after transfer of 14 cases to Tamil Nadu) 33,141 of which 4,277 were active.
The official said 28,290 patients recovered and had been discharged.
He urged people to ensure that the trend of reduced positivity rate, absence of death and other encouraging features were maintained, particularly in the coming days of festivals. PTI COR VS SS APR SS PTI PTI