New Covid-19 infections continued to rise for the third day in a row in Tamil Nadu with 1,986 people testing positive, pushing the overall tally to 25,59,597, while 26 deaths took the toll to 34,076. Recoveries outnumbered new infections with 2,178 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 25,04,805, leaving 20,716active infections, a health department bulletin said. With an aim of containing the spread of the virus, Chief Minister M K Stalin inaugurated an awareness programme here earlier in the day to educate the public on Covid-19 protocols, which included release of a short film, signature campaign and an exhibition.
Chennai and Coimbatore constituted the majority of new infections with 204 and 246 cases respectively, followed by Erode 165, Thanjavur 124 and Chengalpet 122. A total of 1,60,897 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 3,74,46,148 till date, the bulletin said.
As many as 32 districts reported new cases in double digits, while there were no fresh deaths in 24 districts. Nine of the deceased did not have co-morbidities. An official release said the awareness campaign inaugurated by the Chief Minister was aimed at containing the spread of the virus ahead of the possible third wave.
"The Chief Minister inaugurated an exhibition on Covid-19 at Kalaivanar Arangam in the city, and also rolled out a #MASKUpTN hashtag towards creating an awareness on the pandemic among youth. District administrations have been advised to hold similar awareness campaigns on a daily basis over the next one week by integrating various departments", the release said.
Stalin, after rolling out the awareness campaign, urged people to wear masks, maintain social distancing and wash their hands regularly. Those who show symptoms should approach nearby hospitals nearby and get treated, he said.
Later, talking to reporters, health department secretary J Radhakrishnan said they were encouraging those testing positive to get hospitalised rather than preferring to stay in home quarantine, to check the spread of the virus. "If they get admitted to a nearby Covid-19 Care Centre, the virus will not spread to others (instead of staying under home quarantine)… People should avoid opting for home quarantine.
But there is no rule that patients should not be under home quarantine. We are only encouraging them to get treated in hospitals", he said. On Friday, Minister for medical and family welfare Ma Subramanian said the government advised the officials concerned and doctors to get Covid-19 patients admitted in hospitals, instead of prescribing home quarantine following the increase in new cases.
After witnessing over a month long declining trend in daily Covid-19 infections, Tamil Nadu recorded an increase in new cases from July 29, prompting health department officials to gather information to identify the causes behind it.