Of the 39 deaths reported on Saturday, 22 were from Chennai, which also recorded 2,884 fresh infections.
Chennai has 23,625 active cases and has so far reported 4,386 deaths. At least 23 districts reported fresh cases in three digits. Of these, 11 had more than 200 new cases. After Chennai, the highest number of fresh cases and deaths were from Chengalpet (807 cases and three deaths). Active cases in the district have spiked to 6,263. Together with Tiruvallur (389) and Kancheepuram (248), there were 4,328 new cases in the Chennai region.
The region accounted for more than 50% of Tamil Nadu’s active cases. Testing in Chennai, Tiruvallur, Chengalpet and Kancheepuram districts has also increased over the last one week. Chennai corporation commissioner G Prakash said the city, which is testing 20,000 people a day at present, plans to scale up testing to 25,000. “We are doing this across the state. Health workers have been asked to track down at least 30 close contacts of people who test positive. When we test more people, we will be able to identify cases and isolate them early,” said health secretary J Radhakrishnan.
As the state inches close to 1 lakh tests a day, the health department is pushing districts to increase the number to 1.25 lakh a day, the health secretary said. Meanwhile, public health officials say isolating people early and initiating treatment will help keep fatality rate below 1.5%.
In the west, the highest number of new cases were reported from Coimbatore (652), while in the central region, it was Trichy (323) and in the south, Tuticorin (261). The western districts together reported 1,820 cases and three deaths, while the 10 southern districts added 1,880 cases and four deaths. The central region reported 817 cases and four deaths.