TN records 1,971 new COVID-19 infections, 9 more fatalities

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Chennai, Mar 26 (PTI) The COVID-19 graph continued its upward trend in Tamil Nadu on Friday.

The state logged 1,971 cases and nine fatalities, pushing the caseload to 8,75,190 and the toll to 12,650, the Health Department said.

The number of cases crossed the 1,000-mark on March 19 after over an 80-day gap, when it touched 1,087.

Recoveries today were lesser with 1,131 patients being discharged, taking the cumulative number to 8,51,222 leaving 11,318 active cases, a bulletin said.

Chennai accounted for most of the new infections with 739 cases being reported, aggregating 2,44,686 till date.

The metropolis also lead in the number of fatalities with 4,222.

Among the nine deceased, a man from Madurai and a woman from Chennai were the victims without any co-morbidity.

A total of 85,053 samples were tested today, taking the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 1,91,77,274.

Chengalpet was behind Chennai with 205 cases, Coimbatore 173, Thanjavur 111 and Thiruvallur 111.

As many as 24 districts reported fresh infections in double digits.

On the positive side, Perambalur reported nil new cases while active cases in the district was six, the bulletin said.

As many as 13 people who returned from various destinations, including one individual from the United Arab Emirates, were among those who tested positive today, the bulletin said.

The Health Department principal secretary J Radhakrishnan said the daily new cases may increase further and start declining if people wore masks and maintained social distancing.

Referring to the reports of double-mutant strain of COVID-19 in places like Maharashtra, he said no such cases were reported in Tamil Nadu.

'We had reported that 16 people tested positive for the United Kingdom variant of the virus while one person was infected with the South Africa variant of the virus.

All these people have got cured and were discharged. Tamil Nadu has not reported any double-mutant variant of the virus,' he said.

Radhakrishnan, citing a Central government report, clarified that the surge in new cases in Tamil Nadu does not have any linkage to the report of new coronavirus variants.

'There is no linkage to the increase in new cases due to foreign strains of the virus or the double-mutant strain of the virus,' he said.

Stating that Tamil Nadu was the only state to hold RT-PCR tests in the country for COVID-19, he said testing of samples was gradually increased to 85,000 samples a day from the earlier 52,000 samples a day after there was a trend on increase in new cases.

'According to our perception, the surge in new cases will go up further and then start to decline if there is cooperation from the people (by following the COVID-19 protocols),' he said. PTI VIJ NVG NVG