Tamil Nadu continued to witness a surge in COVID-19 cases with three more deaths and 669 fresh infections on Sunday, taking the tally to 7,204 but a top official attributed the steady rise in recent days to aggressive testing and asked people not to have any apprehensions.
With the deaths of three men, the fatalities count has risen to 47 in the State.
Special nodal officer for Greater Chennai Corporation region, J Radhakrishnan told reporters that people need not have apprehensions about the rise in numbers as it only showed aggressive testing to detect infections to halt further spread.
Through the week, the numbers may continue to be high in Chennai considering more and more testing and emerging clusters like Tiruvanmiyur market in south Chennai and in view of some north Chennai areas, he said.
As regards the Koyambedu market hotspot, "overall stability" has been achieved, the official said.
He, however, did not elaborate on the stability factor.
The official pointed out that families as a whole have been testing positive in some north Chennai areas.
"Every person should be an anti-COVID-19 soldier and make it a point to use mask without fail much like the way we use inner wear without fail," he said and added that during inspections they found that about 30 per cent of the people here do not cover their faces.
Stressing frequent hand washing as well, Radhakrishnan said authorities were encouraging use of umbrellas to ensure social distancing in public spaces.
Till date, 2,43,037 samples have been tested and today alone 13,367 throat / nasal swab specimens were taken for examination and there are 53 labs (37 in government and 16 private),a health department bulletin said.
While 135 people were discharged today following recovery from various hospitals in the State, the aggregate number of those who have overcome the illness caused by the virus stood at 1,959.
Also, there were a number of children less than 12 years of age among the newly infected including a one-year old baby girl.
A 55-year old man and a 59-year old man, both admitted to government medical colleges here and a 74-year old man who was treated at nearby Chengelpet government hospital, succumbed to COVID-19.
The duo treated here had co-morbidities like diabetes and hypertension and the deaths have pushed the COVID-19 fatalities to 47 in Tamil Nadu.
Of the 669 who have been infected, 412 were men and 257 women and they were contacts.
Totally, 7,204 people have been infected in the State till date, the bulletin said.
Chennai accounted for 509 of the 600-plus new coronavirus cases and totally 3,839 people have been infected in the State capital alone.
Alongside Chennai, districts of Tiruvallur (337), Chengelpet (267) and Kancheepuram (122) that adjoin the state capital besides Cuddalore (395) and Villupuram (299) also in northern Tamil Nadu account for a whopping 73 per cent (about three-fourths) of the total 7,204 cases in the State.
Central Tamil Nadu districts of Ariyalur and Perambalur have 275 and 104 cases respectively.
Districts in southern Tamil Nadu like Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli have 24 and 90 cases respectively which are much lower than what is seen in northern and cental parts of the State.
The spurt in the number of cases in Chennai and several other districts is attributed to the Koyambedu market here which emerged as a worrying hotspot towards April month end.