Coronavirus | Southern States record steady rise in virus cases

Kerala, Karnataka bear the brunt; Telangana, T.N., A.P. figures inching up

The graph of fresh COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the southern States, with Kerala reporting 2,035 new cases, Telangana 216, Andhra Pradesh 175 and Karnataka showing a rise of 1,000 cases in its weekly tally.

Telangana’s 216 cases on Friday was the highest since January 23. The highest number after that was lower, at 189 on February 25. The Health department tested 34,482 people on Friday and two COVID-19 patients died. Health Minister Eatala Rajender asked testing to be raised to 50,000 samples a day, up from the March 1-12 figure of about 41,000.

Friday’s new cases include 52 from Greater Hyderabad, 19 from Rangareddy, 18 from Medchal- Malkajgiri, and 11 from Karimnagar.

Andhra Pradesh reported two COVID-19 deaths and 175 new infections on Saturday with a spike in several districts. The two deaths were in Anantapur and Chittoor districts. The cumulative death toll touched 7,182. Active cases rose to 1,268 despite 132 patients recovering during the period and overall recoveries rising to 8,83,113. During the 24-hour period, 40,448 samples were tested with a positivity rate of 0.39%. Chittoor again had the highest new infections (40), followed by East Godavari (31), Krishna (24), Visakhapatnam (20), Guntur (15), Kadapa (9), Prakasam (9), Anantapur (7), Srikakulam (6), Vizianagaram (6), Nellore (5) and West Godavari (3).

New COVID-19 infections in Karnataka last week showed an increase of 1,000 cases compared to the previous week, but the surge was not uniform. While Bengaluru Urban accounted for 639 of the 1,000 additional cases for the week ending March 11 to touch 4,606, the Health and Family Welfare department said 10 districts reported a decline while the numbers remained constant in five others. However, 15 of 30 districts in the State had shown an increase.

Kerala reported 2,035 new cases from 58,344 samples, taking cumulative cases to 10,89,478 cases on Saturday. The test positivity rate on the day was 3.49%. With 3,256 recoveries on Saturday, active cases dropped to 30,939. The drop in active cases was rapid, nearly double the number of recoveries than new cases on a daily basis.

On Saturday, 12 new deaths from the past few days were added, taking the cumulative toll to 4,381 deaths. Thrissur reported three deaths, one death each took place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Idukki, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod

One person from South Africa and another from Brazil who reached Kerala in the past 24 hours, tested positive. In all, 103 persons from abroad arriving from mid-December tested positive, including 99 from UK, three from South Africa and one from Brazil. So far, 11 including one contact of a UK returnee, tested positive for the virus variant B.1.1.7 in Kerala.

On Saturday, infections in Tamil Nadu inched closer to 700 as 695 persons tested positive. A little over 60% were reported in Chennai, Chengalpattu, Tiruvallur, and Coimbatore. In Chennai, 271 persons tested positive, taking the city’s tally to 2,38,559. Chengalpattu had 65, Coimbatore 54 and Tiruvallur 40 cases.

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