(Eds: Adds details, CM's quotes) Chennai, Jun 24 (PTI) The surge in COVID-19 cases continued unabated in Tamil Nadu with an all-time high of 2,865 people testing positive in a single day on Wednesday, taking the tally to 67,468 while the toll mounted to 866 with 33 deaths.
Of the new cases, Chennai's share was 1,654, taking its aggregate to 45,814 as there was no let up in the infection count despite the city being under intense lockdown since last Friday. On Tuesday, the city had recorded 1,380 cases.
As the state clocked record figures in the number of new cases, samples tested and recoveries in a single day, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, quoting expert opinion, said the virus spread will increase gradually and only after touching a peak there shall be a phased reduction.
Addressing a virtual meet of officials including District collectors, Palaniswami asked them to conduct more tests in areas with high case loads after declaring such regions as containment zones and assured steps for appointing more doctors and nurses.
'Only Tamil Nadu has done more tests in the country,' he said in a statement adding fatalities were also low due to the hard work of doctors, nurses and other personnel.
'Doctors say that 80 per cent people do not have any symptoms while 10 per cent are highly symptomatic and the rest present with mild symptoms,' he said and batted for more tests as part of measures to help prevent the virus spread.
He appealed to people to follow all norms like maintaining hand hygiene and social distance to avoid spread of the virus.
Though the government has been taking a slew of measures to prevent the virus from spreading, only with public support this can be achieved, he said.
With the focus on increasing testing, the state examined 32,079 samples, the highest in a day so far, and cumulatively 9,76,431 specimens have been screened for the deadly virus, a health department bulletin said.
The state has 88 testing centres, 47 in government and the rest in the private sector.
Among the deaths reported on Wednesday, a 38-year old woman was among the 30 who had co-morbidities and three had none, the bulletin said.
While active cases stood at 28,836, a total of 2,424 people were discharged from various hospitals, again a record for recoveries on a single day.
In total, 37,763 people have been sent home after cure, the government said. PTI VGN VS VS