Chennai witnessed a dip in fresh COVID-19 cases for the fifth day in a row on Monday, with 1,140 persons testing positive. Tamil Nadu’s overall tally increased to 1,42,798* as 4,328 persons tested positive. The toll went past the 2,000-mark with 66 deaths.

After Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Madurai have become priority areas for the Health Department. Cases continue to surge in these districts, with Madurai recording its highest single-day count of 464 cases. Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur recorded a rise of 352 and 337 cases respectively, while Chengalpattu had 219 cases.

3,035 discharged

A total of 3,035 persons were discharged on Monday, more than half of them in Chennai. With this, 92,567 persons have been discharged after treatment, while the number of active cases stands at 48,196.

However, there seems to be no significant reduction in the number of deaths in the State. Though the bulletin issued by the Health Department had the count of deaths that had occurred in the last two to three days, the total number of fatalities reported in the bulletin per day continues to be between 60 and 70. The toll in the State went past 1,000 on June 27, and the number has climbed to 2,032 in 15 days.

24 deaths in Chennai

Of the 66 deaths, 24 were in Chennai, seven in Chengalpattu and four each in Madurai and Ramanathapuram. A number of persons died within a few hours of, or a day after, admission in districts including Salem, Tiruchi, Madurai and Sivaganga.

A 32-year-old man with acute kidney injury was admitted to the Government Mohan Kumaramangalam Medical College Hospital, Salem, on July 12. However, he died within an hour of admission owing to COVID-19, acute kidney injury, diabetes, coronary artery disease and chronic kidney disease.

Similarly, a 45-year-old woman from Krishnagiri was admitted to the same hospital at 6.35 p.m. on July 12. She died at 7.05 p.m. owing to sepsis and respiratory failure. She suffered from diabetes and systemic hypertension. Another 45-year-old woman who had diabetes, systemic hypertension and obstructive sleep apnea died a day after admission on July 12.

At the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, Tiruchi, two 70-year-old patients died a day after admission. A 63-year-old man with diabetes was admitted to the Sivaganga Medical College Hospital at 11.39 a.m. on July 11. He died at 12.25 p.m. owing to COVID-19, acute respiratory distress syndrome, bilateral pneumonia, right leg cellulitis and sepsis.

Focus on rural areas

“The number of new cases is decreasing in Chennai. We are also focusing on rural parts of the State. After Chennai, the priority areas include districts such as Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Madurai, where the case load has increased,” an official of the Health Department said.

He added that the bed capacity at hospitals, including those in Madurai, were being increased. “Hospitals in the southern parts of the State are reporting an increase in the number of cases. We are increasing the number of beds as well as oxygen points. We have dispatched oxygen cylinders, and are readying liquid oxygen facilities. All life-saving medication and high-flow nasal cannulas have been dispatched to the districts,” he said.

Among northern districts, Ranipet had 126 cases, Vellore 129 and Villupuram 136. In the south, the surge continued in Kanniyakumari with 184, Theni 134, Thoothukudi 122, and Tirunelveli 113. Apart from these districts, Salem and Tiruchi had 99 and 92 cases respectively.

A total of 58 returnees, including 11 from Karnataka, tested positive. As on Monday, the number of infected children went past 7,000, while 17,375 persons above 60 tested positive.

A total of 44,560 samples were tested during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 16,54,008.

(*This is inclusive of two deaths cross-notified to other States and one patient who died after testing negative for the infection.)

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