CHENNAI/VELLORE: The number of active cases in Tamil Nadu crossed the 50,000-mark on Sunday as the state reported 12,895 new Covid-19 cases with a test positivity rate of 8.6 per cent. The number of active cases has reached 51,335 less than a week after the figure crossed 10,000 (10,364) on January 3.
Health Minister Ma Subramanian said the spike was driven by the Omicron variant, with 80-85 per cent of samples showing an ‘S’ gene drop which is a marker for the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus. Experts said the third wave is likely to peak by the end of January or early February after which there would be a sharp drop in Covid cases.
Chennai remains the epicentre of the third wave at the moment with 68 per cent of new Covid-19 cases coming from the city and its surrounding districts. While the capital reported 6,186 cases, the neighbouring districts of Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram and Chengalpattu reported 702, 343 and 1,512 cases respectively. Healthcare clusters continued to raise concerns for officials with the famous Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore confirming that over 200 of its staff, including doctors and nurses, had tested positive.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu has managed to provide the first dose of vaccine against Covid to 22.50 lakh out of the total 33.46 lakh people eligible in the 15-17 age group. On Monday, Chief Minister MK Stalin will launch the drive to provide booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers as well as those aged over 60. The health minister said over 4 lakh people are eligible to take the booster doses in the state.