Eighteen people have tested positive for COVID-19 at IIT Madras, taking the total to 30 cases in two days, officials said on Friday, amid a spike in coronavirus infections in some parts of the country.
Tamil Nadu on Thursday reported 39 fresh COVID-19 cases, pushing the caseload to 34,53,390 as the state continued to witness an increasing trend.
The number of deaths remained 38,025 with zero fatalities being recorded in the last 24 hours, a medical bulletin said.
Taking note of the rise in new cases, the government directed the health department to step up testing of samples to around 25,000 a day from the present 18,000 cases.
Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, who visited the IIT-Madras campus on Thursday, said the 12 people who tested positive campus were ‘vaccinated’, doing ‘fine’ and do not require hospitalisation.
“We have collected 365 samples as of today (at IIT Madras) and a necessity may arise to test 1,500-2,000 people here in the locality if positive cases increases…”, he said.
Noting that adherence to COVID-19 norms in public places has been declining, Mr Radhakrishnan said the state government is yet to announce relaxation of restrictions.
“Though some states have announced relaxation on wearing face masks in public places, Tamil Nadu (Government) is yet to make such an announcement,” he said.
Urging people not to lower their guard, he said the daily cases in New Delhi spiked as of Wednesday and a similar situation may emerge in Tamil Nadu if people show laxity in following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.
“It has been decided to increase the total number of samples that were tested by the health department per day. It was 16,000 (16,583) yesterday, today it will be 18,000 (18,825).. we have directed department authorities to increase the total number of samples collected per day to 25,000”, he said.
“People should understand that the prevalence of the virus decreased in the state during the first, second and third wave of Covid-19 because people followed the COVID-19 behaviour. Now the cases have increased to 39 (across Tamil Nadu) and by following the coronavirus protocols they (public) can prevent its spread” he added.
Chennai, which has been reporting cases below 20 over the last few days accounted for the majority of new coronavirus with 21 cases, followed by Chengalpet six, while Vellore and Thanjavur recorded two cases, respectively. Kancheepuram, Nagapattinam, Namakkal, Tirupathur, Tiruvallur, Tiruvarur reported one case each.
The state capital leads among districts with 7,51,356 cases overall.