COVID cases race past 90,000 in Tamil Nadu, Minister tests positive

Published : June 30, 2020 21:29 IST

In Chennai, a medical worker collect a swab sample from a senior citizen for the COVID-19 test on June 29. Photo: B. Velankanni Raj

A Tamil Nadu Minister has tested positive for COVID-19 infection, even as the State continues to record new highs in the number of cases with each passing day. On June 29, Tamil Nadu raced past the 90,000 mark – which is higher than the total infections on record in China. As many as 60 persons died today, taking the total death count in the State till today to 1,201. Chennai contributed to a bulk of the total infections (58,327) and over three-fourths of all deaths (888).

Last week, Tamil Nadu Minister for Higher Education K.P. Anbalagan denied that he had tested positive for COVID-19. This was because “initially, he showed no symptoms and his CT scan was normal, but as a precautionary measure he was kept under observation,” said Dr. Prithvi Mohandas, Managing Director, MIOT International Hospital, in a release on June 30. His second sample tested positive. “He developed mild cough yesterday and is being treated for the same. He is stable and vital parameters are normal,” the statement added.

On June 30, the total number of people infected in Tamil Nadu was 90,167. As many as 3,943 people were found to be infected today, six less than that of Monday (3,949) and three more than June 28 (3,940), according to a government bulletin. The growth in COVID-19 infections has been significant. In March, the total number of cases detected was 124. This rose nearly ten times to 2,199 in April. In May, the numbers leapt almost ninefold to record 20,010 new cases. In June, the total number of new cases was 67,834. The government has been pointing to the recovery rate (55.5 per cent – 50,074 people) to drive home the point that despite the number of infections, the recovery rate was significant. The death rate is rising too, and now stands at 1.3 per cent and the active cases, at 38,889.

In view of the growing infection rate and despite the recommendation of the Public Health Committee that a lockdown was not very useful in the current circumstances, the government extended the lockdown in Chennai until July 5. The second phase of unlocking the State will be on until July 31, where some concessions will be given to business establishments and the people. Explaining the rationale behind a 17-day lockdown in Chennai (on from June 19), the AIADMK IT wing’s face, ‘Aspire’ Swaminathan, said in a recorded audio clip that this was done on the request of those working in the field. There were several measures being taken and they had requested for an extension of lockdown.

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