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Tamil Nadu reports 48 new COVID19 cases, tally climbs to 738

CHENNAI: As many as 48 people, including 42 returnees from the Delhi Tablighi Jamaat meet, tested positive for coronavirus in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases to 738, a senior government official said.

Health Secretary Beela Rajesh also announced the death of a 45-year old man, who succumbed to COVID-19 in Vellore on Tuesday becoming the eighth fatality to the virus in the state.

He had come into contact with a coronvirus positive patient, she said.

Of the 48 new cases, a total of 42, including a Malaysian National, were same source contact, she said.

Rajesh said the government’s objective was to ensure that the spread of the virus does not enter the third stage and the health department personnel were working in that direction.

Briefing reporters, Rajesh said 42 of them were belonging to same source contact (who had visited the religious conference in Delhi) and of the remaining six, two of them were under quarantine with one having an overseas travel history while four others were from the city.

“We are tracing the details of the four individuals who had tested positive from Chennai”, she said.

She said till date 2,10,538 passengers had been screened in the state and 60,739 people were under home quarantine.

A total fo 230 asymptomatic passengers from highly affected countries were being quarantined in facilities near airport, she said.

“The number of people who had completed the 28 day quarantine in Tamil Nadu is 32,075”, she said.

A bulletin issued by the health department said the total number of persons attended the “single source event” at Delhi traced and isolated were 1,480.

A total of 1716 samples of the attendees and their contacts were sent for testing and of them 679 had tested positive, she said.

Chennai topped the number of positive cases with 156 followed by Coimbatore 60, Dindigul 46, Tirunelveli 40, Theni 39, Tiruchirappalli 36, Namakkal 33, Erode 32.

Stating that containment activities were going on by mapping the zones in 34 districts, Rajesh said, the health department officials were undertaking “active and passive” surveillance in such containment zones.

Number of households screened were 15.66 lakh with a total population of 53 lakh by 30,668 field officers, she said.

Rajesh said the government was enhancing the testing facilities for COVID19 samples by increasing the labs like the IRT in Perundurai which has just commenced operations.

She said eight persons have died so far in Tamil Nadu due to the virus and added that the government has constituted an ‘expert committee’ to guide the health department in containing the COVID-19 cases, as adviced by the Centre.

The official said so far 21 people had recovered from the disease and discharged in Tamil Nadu.

A 72-year old man was the latest to get cured and was discharged on Wednesday.

She said there were 19 testing facilities, including 12 government labs, in the state for COVID-19.

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