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1,132 new COVID-19 cases in TN; govt tells educational institutions to buckle up to help prevent spread

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday logged 1,132 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 8,01,161 and the death toll mounted to 11,919 with 10 more fatalities.

The government, meanwhile, warned of action against educational institutions if norms to help prevent the virus spread were not followed and enforced in their campuses.

Of the 1,132 fresh infections, Chennai reported 359 and the rest was from other regions of Tamil Nadu. The eight lakh plus state case count covers Chennai’s 2,20,560, a health department bulletin said.

All the ten deceased had co-morbidities and the death toll of 11,919 includes 3,929 from the state capital, which is the highest. With 1,210 patients getting discharged from various hospitals, active cases dipped below the 10,000 mark (9,951 cases) and 7,79,291 people have got cured so far.

On a day when the case count in the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras here rose to 183, State Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said detailed guidelines under Standard Operating Procedure have been issued already by the government. If such norms, outlined in two Government Orders, were not followed to combat the pathogen spread, action would be taken against the management of institutions under The Epidemic Diseases Act and the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, he told reporters. Action would be taken if they become responsible for the virus spread, he said.

“I am warning,” he said, pointing out government departments alone would not be able to prevent the virus spread and all others including colleges should take up responsibility. Instances like students gathering in classrooms without following physical distancing and giving a go by to wearing masks or crowding in dining halls must be avoided, he said.

The coronavirus outbreak in the IIT-M was an isolated cluster, Radhakrishnan said. Aggressive testing would be done in hostels and places like canteens located in educational institutions including varsities.

Students of the IIT-M, who tested positive, were all stable and being treated at the state-run King’s Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, the official said, adding he visited them.

As many as 66,213 samples were tested (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction method) and totally 1,30,86,807 specimens have been examined under the RT-PCR in 232 labs in the state, the bulletin said.