TN records 438 new COVID-19 infections, 6 more fatalities

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Chennai,Feb 20 (PTI) Tamil Nadu added 438 new COVID-19 cases and six more fatalities, taking the caseload to 8,47,823 and the toll to 12,457, the health department said on Saturday.

Recoveries eclipsed new infections with 459 people being discharged, taking the tally to 8,31,246, leaving 4,120 active cases.

Chennai accounted for the maximum number of infections with 139, taking the tally to 2,34,191.

The metropolis also accounted for a little over one-third of the COVID-19 fatalities at 4,137 deaths.

All the six deceased had pre-existing morbidities, which include a 29-year-old woman from neighbouring Chengalpet district.

As many as 24 districts reported new infections in single digits, while three -- Perambalur, Karur, Villupuram -- recorded 'nil' fresh cases.

Out of 37 districts,33 reported nil fatalities.

A total of 51,046 samples were tested on Saturday, taking the total specimens examined to 1,70,70,597.

A government lab in Nilgiris received the approval to take up COVID-19 testing recently, taking the total number of such facilities in the State to 257, the bulletin said.

Health minister C Vijayabaskar got the second dose of COVID vaccine at the government medical college and hospital in Tiruchirappalli on Saturday.

'I got inoculated with the second dose of COVAXIN today.....I continued my routine work after the jab,' he said in a tweet.

Tourism Minister 'Vellamandi' N Natarajan and the College Dean Vanitha were present.

The Minister took the first shot on January 22 at the Rajiv Gandhi government general hospital in Chennai.

Later talking to reporters, he said the department of health and preventive medicine vaccinated over 3.51 lakh people till date. The total comprised health care workers and frontline personnel including those from the police department.

'There is no hesitation among anyone (to get vaccinated).There is a possibility to reach 'nil' COVID-19 cases with the declining trend of virus on one side and vaccination drive happening on the other side,' he said.

Asked whether there was a possibility of a second wave of virus in the State, he said, 'chances are remote as the state has been ranked top in RT-PCR testing and doctors are handling the COVID-19 cases very well.' 'Even the mortality rate (due to COVID-19) has come down drastically.I must extend my appreciation to the medical team and also thank our Chief Minister (K Palaniswami) for taking measures to control the spread of virus,' he said.

Asked when the government would commence vaccination for the general public, he said, 'very soon'. PTI VIJ BN BN BN