Ten more staffers in the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the total number of those affected in various offices to 25 on Thursday.
In the Andhra Pradesh Legislature, situated on the same premises, two employees tested positive for the virus, officials said.
Secretariat employees in departments like Animal Husbandry and Water Resources were found infected with coronavirus in the samples tested at the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) in Guntur.
Following this, the Special Chief Secretaries and Secretaries of the departments concerned asked their staff to go home as a precautionary measure, sources said.
Most of the blocks in the Secretariat wore a deserted look as the COVID-19 scare hit once again. Previously, 15 staffers in the Secretariat and two in the Assembly complex had tested positive for coronavirus.
In another development, around 26 officers and staff working at the High Court in Amaravati have also tested positive until now, since the COVID-19 pandemic began. They are currently under medical supervision, according to reports.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh crossed 16,000 with 845 people testing positive during a 24-hour period ending on Thursday, health officials said. The state also reported five fatalities, pushing the death toll to 198. Srikakulam, Krishna, Guntur, Anantapur and Kurnool reported one death each.
The health department said 281 people were discharged from hospitals, taking the number of recoveries to 7,313. At present, 8,586 patients are undergoing treatment -- 6,673 in hospitals and 1,913 in COVID care centres.
According to the media bulletin by the State Command Control Room, 14,285 samples were tested during the 24-hour period. Of them, 845 tested positive. It included four returnees from abroad and 29 from other states.
Among districts, Kurnool remained the worst-affected with 2,120 cases, including 75 added during the 24-hour period. With 1,823 cases, Anantapur has the second highest number. The district reported 134 new cases, the highest daily jump among all districts. Krishna district has 1,594 cases, including 75 reported during the last 24 hours.
The state has so far tested 9,32,713 samples, one of the highest in the country.
IANS and PTI inputs