The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday extended its lockdown till April 30, 2021, stating that COVID-19 testing across the state will be scaled up and those districts where testing is less should rapidly increase testing to reach the prescribed level. With the steady rise in fresh infections, the state government has decided to ramp up testing and take steps to reduce the number of fatalities. The proportion of RT-PCR tests in the total mix is to be scaled up, on a best effort basis, to 70% or more and districts, where the proportion of RT-PCR tests is less, should rapidly increase testing through this protocol, to reach the prescribed level, the government has said.
The government has also said that in addition to the measures already in place across the state, new positive cases detected as a result of intensive testing need to be isolated or quarantined at the earliest. Their contacts have to be traced at the earliest as well, and similarly isolated or quarantined. Containment zones will be demarcated accordingly, and precautionary measures will be implemented within such zones.
Tamil Nadu recorded 2,342 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, pushing the infection count to 8.84 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 12,700 with 16 more fatalities.
According to a Health Department bulletin, recoveries rose to 8.56 lakh with 1,463 patients being discharged, leaving 14,846 active cases. Chennai accounted for most of the new infections with 874 cases, taking the aggregate to 2.48 lakh. The metropolis also leads in the number of fatalities with 4,236. A total of 83,154 samples were tested on Tuesday, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined so far to 1.95 crores.
Chengalapattu reported 242 fresh cases on Tuesday, followed by Coimbatore (207), Thanjavur (114), Kancheepuram (100) while 26 districts logged fresh infections in double digits. Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan undertook a review meeting with the COVID core committee. The committee, comprising senior government officials, was formed to study the impact of the virus and submit its report to the Chief Secretary on a daily basis to take up necessary action.
In view of the poll season, it has been mandated that the COVID-19 protocol be strictly followed in political meetings and cultural functions.
(With PTI inputs)