The spread of the coronavirus infection showed signs of abating in Tamil Nadu for the first time since the lockdown was clamped three weeks ago with only 31 cases reported on Tuesday, taking the total to 1,204. This was the lowest number in the last 15 days.
Of the total, 1,079 were linked to those who attended the Tablighi event in New Delhi last month and their contacts.
Health Secretary Beela Rajesh told reporters in Chennai in an update that of the 31 new cases, 15 were linked to last month’s Tablighi event in New Delhi.
The number of cases increased only after over 1,000 from Tamil Nadu returned after attending the Tablighi event in New Delhi in mid-March. Though quite a lot of them were identified and quarantined, many went into hiding and they came out only after developing symptoms.
Addtitional Director-General of Police Jayanth Murali was able to say with conviction on Tuesday that 80 per cent of them had been traced.
With strict enforcement of lockdown, they were confined to their homes and there residential areas were sealed, thereby isolating from infecting more people.
In fact the first case of a Covid linked to Tablighi event was reported on March 18. By March end, it rose exponentially and crossed 400 on April 4. From then, it galloped to over 1,000 two days ago.
Of the 31 fresh cases on Tuesday, nine were from Dindigul followed by Chennai (5), Thanjavur (4), Tenkasi (3), Madurai, Ramnad and Nagapattinam (two each) and Cuddalore, Salem, Sivaganga and Kanniyakumari (one each).
Chennai remained on top with 211 cases, followed by Coimbatore (126), Tiruppur (79),Dindigul (65), Erode (64)) and Tirunelveli (56), Chengelpattu (46), Namakkal (45), Tiruchi (43), Karur and Madurai (41 each) and Theni (40).
Beela Rajesh said over 38, 000 were in home quarantine and another 1,800 in isolation wards.
With a 96-year-old man from Dindigul dying in Karur, the death count was officially put at 12, excluding a man from Palakkad and a doctor from Nellore who have been added to States though they died in Coimbatore and Chennai respectively.