As the total number of Covid-19 cases touched 6009 with 600 new cases on Friday, state health minister C Vijayabaskar said it was the increased number of testing and effective tracking and quarantining of suspected cases that helped the state to keep the crucial indicators of the epidemic under control.
Vijayabaskar said the state’s death rate, .68, was the lowest among states with similar population and cases, and that samples tested were highest, 2.16 lakh, “compared to even states like Maharashtra that registered more number of cases.”
The state has 52 labs including 36 in government sector and 16 in private facilities.
Total death toll in the state is 40 including three deaths reported on Friday, two 78 year old 56 year old men in Chennai and an 83 year old man in Tirunelveli. Minister Vijayabaskar said all of them died due to co-morbidity.
On Friday alone, the state had tested 13,980 samples. Of 600 cases turned positive, 399 were from Chennai, and 75 from Tiruvallur, a neighbouring district north of Chennai, mostly from the cluster of cases originated at Koyambedu vegetable market.
A epidemiological data of the state public health directorate shows that the number of cases linked to Koyambedu cluster had gone up from 92 on Sunday to 1589 by Thursday night.
While the Koyambedu cluster has played a key role in the fresh wave of cases in the last one week, the health department along with police, revenue and Village Vigilance Committees across the state traced 788 primary contacts originated from the market alone. Of 5734 secondary contacts traced to these primary contacts, 801 tested positive till Thursday. State’s first largest cluster linking Tablighi Jamaat had 631 primary cases and 718 secondary cases.
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