CHENNAI: People returning home are fast adding to Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 count with 23 passengers of just one flight from Dubai testing positive on Tuesday. Of the 688 fresh cases, 87 had arrived from abroad or other states. Meanwhile, three deaths took the state’s toll to 84, while the total number of cases is now 12,488.
The flight had landed in Chennai on Monday with 178 passengers.
Chennai remained the hotspot with 552 fresh cases. Neighbouring Chengalpet recorded 22 cases, Tiruvallur eight and Kancheepuram five. Trichy, which hasn’t seen a positive since May 12, recorded a case on Tuesday. Tiruvarur in central TN completed 14 days without any fresh case.
“At least 60% of the state cases are from Chennai. The clusters in Chennai are mainly among three zones. And even in these zones there are certain hotspots. For instance, in Royapuram one division contributes 85% of cases, said Greater Chennai Corporation nodal officer J Radhakrishnan. “We have rolled out micro-plans for containment in these zones. The aim is to ensure compliance,” he said.
On Tuesday, a total of 37 air passengers — 23 from the Dubai flight, 13 who came from Dubai, Kuwait and Malaysia last week, and one passenger from Maldives — tested positive. They had tested negative on arrival, but tested positive after the second test, officials said.
They were in quarantined at hotels or government facility centres since they landed. “The 154 other passengers of the Dubai flight who tested negative (one sample under process) have been asked to remain in quarantine at paid or government facilities for a week,” officials said.
In addition, 49 people who came by road from Maharashtra and one person from Kerala also tested positive on Tuesday, according to the bulletin released by the Directorate of Public Health. They included 20 who reached district check posts at Tirunelveli, 10 who reached Kallakurichi, six who reached Karur, and five in Thoothukudi. In Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Karur and Cuddalore, fresh cases were reported from other state returnees.
Tirupur, Coimbatore, Erode and Namakkal districts in western Tamil Nadu, which have no active cases, continued to maintain the status quo. Sivaganga and Salem, which started reporting fresh cases after a long break, had no new cases on Tuesday.
The total number of persons tested dropped to 9,844 from 11,760 on Monday and the state health officials maintained that they were not cutting down on tests. “Fewer people are tested today because only they require it,” said a senior health official. A total of 489 patients were discharged following treatment on Tuesday.
(With inputs from V Mayilvaganan in Coimbatore)