CHENNAI: With 434 fresh cases, Tamil Nadu crossed the 10,000-mark on Friday. Five deaths were reported, taking the toll to 71. With 310 cases, Chennai continued to dominate the list. Six persons who returned from Maldives, 40 from Maharashtra, two from Gujarat, and one from Karnataka who returned to Tamil Nadu have tested positive.
Over half the total cases -- 5,946 out of 10,108 -- are in Chennai. One person died in Thoothukudi and four in Chennai. All of them had co-morbid conditions. Two of the deceased -- a 53-year-old woman and a 32-year-old man -- died at the RGGGH in Chennai on Friday. A 57-year-old man died at the Omandurar hospital and a 61-year-old at the Stanley hospital also succumbed to the virus.
Of the 71 deaths in the State, 48 were in Chennai. Officials have confirmed that the 32-year-old who died at RGGGH is the youngest in the State to succumb to COVID-19. He allegedly had chronic kidney disease and systemic hypertension, and died of respiratory failure, two days after being admitted to the government hospital.
The fifth death was a 34-year-old man, a native of Ramanathapuram, who died at the Thoothukudi GH. Sources say the deceased was working as a driver at a fish processing unit in Chennai. He had recently returned home by lorry, without obtaining a travel permit. He was admitted to hospital on May 11, and tested positive on Thursday. He too died of breathing difficulty.
The onslaught continuing unabated in Chennai, nodal officer J Radhakrishnan said the civic body will distribute 50 lakh reusable masks to slum dwellers within its limits. “Totally, 26 lakh people in slums will be given reusable masks. We have identified 650 informal settlements,” he said.
The city corporation has devised a special plan for Royapuram zone and has identified ten worst affected streets. “Vulnerable people from these spots will be shifted to community halls and quarantined,’’ Radhakrishnan said. Chennai currently has 684 containment zones with 117 in Thiruvika Nagar, 102 in Royapuram, 72 in Teynampet and 60 in Kodambakkam.
“Cases have reduced in six to seven zones and in Kodambakkam and Valasaravakkam, the cases were mostly related to the Koyambedu cluster. Here, we have been giving the people Kabasura Kudineer and herbal drinks,’’ the officer said. He said cases were stabilising in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Tondiarpet and Teynampet and the civic body has put special officers to monitor the zones.
“The virus is spreading because people in the containment areas meet other people. Everyone must strictly wear a mask,’’ added Radhakrishnan. He said that 80 per cent people in the COVID care centres do not have symptoms while Chennai has now tested close to 70,000 people. So far, 16,000 migrant workers have been sent back home by special trains.
Meanwhile, 1,091 people who have returned to Chennai from other places were screened. Nine including one from Maldives have tested positive so far. As of the cases on May 14, Royapuram has 747 active cases, Kodambakkam has 741 and Thiruvika Nagar has 504. While Tamil Nadu had just 5,409 cases on May 7, the numbers have doubled in the last eight days, thanks to the Koyambedu cluster.
On Friday, 13 districts including Chennai reported fresh cases, Chennai and its neighbouring districts Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu and Tiruvallur had more cases when compared to other districts.
Chengapattu 20 cases, Kancheepuram 11, Tiruvallur 21, Theni and Madurai six cases each, Cuddalore and Tiruvannamalai three cases each, Perambalur two, Dinduga, Tenkasi, Thanjavur and Virudhunagar one case each. These are excluding people who tested positive after returning from other States and abroad.