Thirty prisoners lodged in the high-security Puzhal Prison off Chennai have tested positive for the coronavirus, a senior official in the state police department said on Friday.
A team of health officials from Madhavaram collected samples from close to 90 inmates known to have been in close quarters with a few prisoners in Cuddalore and Tiruchi prisons.
According to a senior police official, seven of the 30 from Puzhal prison have been hospitalised while the remaining inmates stay in isolation inside the prison. Prison officials are closely monitoring the movement of prisoners now that the disease has pervaded even totally enclosed spaces like prisons.
Outside the walled prisons, the virus is appearing to have a field day in the capital Chennai. On Friday alone, 618 cases were recorded in the city out of the 874 positives across the state. Tamil Nadu has been recording more than 800 cases for the last three days in a row, a worrying sign for officials amid no detection of new clusters after the Nizamuddin conference and the Koyambedu market cluster.
Returnees from Maharashtra have been testing positive in a big way. In the breakup provided by the state government on Friday, exactly 129 cases were attributed to the returnees who came by road, and six cases by flights into the city.
Recoveries in Tamil Nadu have been at an all-time high recently. Out of the 20,246 cases, 11,313 have been discharged. On Friday alike, discharges touched 765 people. On Thursday however, the death toll was 12. On Friday, nine people were reported dead from COVID-19.