Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. (File)
Tamil Nadu Chennai Coronavirus News September 23, 24 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 5325 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 5,57,999. Among these, Chennai reported 980 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 1,58,594.
Tamil Nadu recorded 63 deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 9010. 59 of them had succumbed due to comorbidities.
As of Wednesday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 46,249. Till date, 3,36,469 males, 2,21,500 females and 30 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.
According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 67,25,037 samples from the state have been sent for testing till date, with 84,979 samples having been sent yesterday.
The state discharged 5363 patients following treatment yesterday, putting the total number of recoveries at 5,02,740.
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The developments come ahead of Sasikala’s expected release from a Bengaluru prison before January 2021.
Talks are on for merger of the rebel faction led by V K Sasikala into the AIADMK, with the BJP facilitating the discussions, in preparation for the May 2021 Assembly elections. Two days ago, T T V Dhinakaran, who is running the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) in the absence of the jailed Sasikala, travelled to Delhi, where he is said to have met top BJP leaders.
According to a highly placed source, Dhinakaran has been promised “earliest release” of Sasikala if the talks are fruitful. However, Dhinakaran is said to have demanded that his aunt be made the general secretary and he be given a key post. The arrangement could finally be for the reins of the government to continue with the Chief Minister-Deputy CM duo of Palaniswami and Paneerselvam, while party reins pass on to Sasikala.
The state government-appointed expert committee formed to study the pandemic’s impact on Tamil Nadu’s economy has said the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 has left the state in a bad shape. A top official said the growth rate is “going to be affected badly in this financial year… mostly into a negative zone”. Assessing the impact on various sectors and the life of the common man, the committee headed by former RBI governor C Rangarajan has recommended that the state government carry out a second round of cash distribution, besides making several other suggestions.
A senior official said the Rangarajan-led panel has recommended that the state government roll out an “urban employment guarantee scheme” modelled on MGNREGA. The committee’s report, which was handed over to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday, has also recommended an additional budget allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for capital expenditure and an “affordable rental housing scheme” for the working class population in cities and towns.