Health Secretary Beela Rajesh on Thursday told reporters in Chennai that 96 new cases had been reported in Tamil Nadu, taking the total number to 834 . Of the 96 new cases, 84 were connected with the Tablighi event in New Delhi.
The death toll had gone up to eight, she added.
With this, Tamil Nadu has emerged the most affected State after Maharashtra which tops the national list with over 1,000.
The virus had spread across Tamil Nadu with Chennai topping the list with 163 cases, followed by Coimbatore (60) and other districts. Erode reported 26 new cases on Thursday.
Barring four districts which reported less than ten cases, most other districts reported infection in double digits.
The extent of the spread could be gauged from the fact that there were only seven cases on March 30. On March 31, another 50 cases were reported. This month it jumped by leaps and bounds touching 834 in just nine days.
With this the total number of positive cases of Delhi meet alone went up to 763 in the State and it included foreign nationals.
The Government, however, maintained that the State was yet to reach the community transmission stage when the virus spreads like a wild fire.
Beela Rajesh said the rapid test kits ordered from China were expected to reach the State by Thursday night or Friday morning.
So far, the Government was conducting PCR tests which, though more accurate, would take six hours to show results .
She said the rapid test kits would show results in 30 minutes.
They test antibodies. However, experts say the system will develop antibodies only eight or ten days after the infection by when it may be in an advanced stage.
However, the Government is going for this rapid test as the number of cases are rising rapidly. With this test, those with the symptoms can be quickly isolated at home and treated so that Government hospitals are not overwhelmed.