Chennai, Jan 2 (PTI): Tamil Nadu on Saturday clocked 910 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 8,19,845, while the toll mounted to 12,146 with 11 more deaths.
Till date, 24 returnees from the United Kingdom to Tamil Nadu have tested positive of which one individual has contracted the new variant of the coronavirus, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.
Recoveries continued to outnumber the new infections with 1,007 people discharged from hospital, totalling to 7,99,427,a health department bulletin said.
The number of active cases stood at 8,272.
As many as 62,401 samples were tested on Saturday taking the cumulative total to 1,43,21,046 specimens examined so far.
Of the 910 new cases reported in Tamil Nadu, the state capital logged 246 new infections, while the rest was spread across other districts.
Chennai continued to top the list of the cases with 2,25,998 infections of more than 8.19 lakh cases reported in the state.
It also topped in the number of fatalities, accounting for 4,018 of the total fatalities.
Eleven districts reported new cases in single digit, while three districts -- Ariyalur, Kallakurichi and Perambalur, respectively, added 'zero' fresh infections.
Of the 37 districts, 32 districts reported zero fatalities.
Five people who tested positive were returnees from other States, the bulletin said.
Meanwhile, talking to reporters here, Radhakrishnan said: 'We have received information that samples of three more individuals which were sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune to check if they were infected with the new variant of virus has turned out to be negative.' Samples of two returnees from the UK, who tested positive earlier, have now turned negative, he said.
To a query, he said the individual who has tested positive for the new variant would be discharged only after he tests 'negative' twice for RT-PCR tests during the 14 day quarantine period.
Asked if the government has identified any new COVID-19 clusters in Chennai, he said, 'a chef in a star hotel tested positive and subsequently the infection rate was increasing since then in that locality.' 'Between December 15 and till date, we have collected 609 samples of which 85 of them turned out to be COVID-19 positive in that locality (of the star hotel),' he said.
Stating that people hold events inside gated communities and avoid wearing masks, he said even while taking part in functions inside a gated community one should wear a mask.
'Chief Minister (K Palaniswami) has issued orders to hold tests in places where there is a COVID-19 cluster.The good news is that the daily infection rate is less than 1,000 in Tamil Nadu while in Chennai it is less than 300 cases,' he added. PTI VIJ BN WELCOME BN WELCOME