TN reports 937 new COVID-19 cases, count of UK returnees testing positive goes up to 24

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Chennai, Dec 31 (PTI) Tamil Nadu on Thursday clocked 937 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 8,18,014 while the toll mounted to 12,122 with 13 more deaths.

United Kingdom returnees to the state testing positive for the virus increased to 24 with the addition of four, a health department bulletin said.

Totally, 24 returnees and 20 of their contacts have tested positive till date, it said.

State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said so far only one person, a youth, who arrived here from the UK, has been found to be infected with the new variant of the contagion and the results of genomic analysis of other returnees were awaited.

'There is, however, no difference in clinical manifestation or no change in testing and treatment protocol vis-a-vis the UK returnees,' he told reporters.

The lone Tamil Nadu man identified with the new strain was 'doing well' at the King's Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, a state-run institution here, the official said.

All the returnees were being treated in separate facilities, he said.

Efforts were on by police, health and local authorities to trace many returnees in Chennai and Chengalpattu.

A section of them had not given correct address during travel and officials were engaged in tracing them, the Health Secretary said.

According to the bulletin, approximately 2,300 people travelled from UK recently and of the 1,936 traced and tested, 24 were positive, 1,853 negative, results of 59 are awaited and tracing of others (364) was underway.

Of the 937 new cases, Chennai reported 259, six were returnees from states, including West Bengal, a person from the United Arab Emirates and the remainder was scatterred across the state.

The state capital accounted for 2,25,507 cases out of the 8.18 lakh plus tally.

The fresh deaths included three people with no chronic illness and ten with co-morbidities. The toll of 12,122 cases included Chennai's 4,008, the highest in the state.

The active cases dipped to 8,501 with 1,038 patients getting discharged and cumulatively, 7,97,391 people have recovered.

As many as 68,761 samples were tested and in total 1,41,91,494 specimens have been examined in 237 COVID-19 labs of the state. PTI VGN VS VS