Tamil Nadu on Sunday reported a record single-day spike of nearly 4,000 new coronavirus cases, pushing the overall tally beyond 82,000, while 54 new fatalities were reported.
The count in the state went up to 1,079, while the total number of positive cases climbed to 82,275, the government said in a medical bulletin.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, while assuring his government was doing its every bit to contain the pandemic, took a dig at DMK chief MK Stalin's statement that the ruling party was not considering his suggestions.
The Opposition leader was only issuing political statements, the Chief Minister said.
According to the government, as many as 45,537 people, including 1,443 on Sunday have been discharged from various hospitals, leaving 35,656 active cases including those in isolation.
Chennai continued to report a high number of cases--as many as 1,992 infections of the 3,940 cases reported on Sunday.
Chennai has also recorded maximum fatalities--809, of the total 1,079 deaths in the state so far.
According to the bulletin, eight of the 54 who died were patients without ''comorbidities'' and the dead include an 18-month old baby from Villupuram who died on June 27.
Patients with comorbidities, who died due to the virus, include a 91-year-old man suffering from diabetes mellitus.
Among the districts, Chengalpet with 5,051 total cases and Tiruvallur with 3,524 of them remained on the top of the charts after Chennai.
With government enhancing testing of samples, 32,948 specimens were tested on Sunday, taking the total to 11.10 lakh till date.
Meanwhile, E Palaniswami and MK Stalin sparred over the virus situation in the state, with the latter alleging that the ruling dispensation was not considering the suggestions given by him and that he was not doing politics over the matter.
"I have been giving hundreds of suggestions so far. Though the AIADMK is in power, the DMK has a duty to protect the people," he said in a video message.
Many doctors had interacted with him and he had conveyed their suggestions to the government, the DMK chief said.
"But Chief Minister Palaniswami neither listened to these nor implemented them," he said, adding that the Chief Minister was ''arrogant'' on this matter.
Both cases and deaths were increasing while the Chief Minister was insisting there was no community transmission, he said.
Responding to MK Stalin's remarks, E Palaniswami said the opposition leader's daily statements were only "political" in nature.
"They (statements) are only political. Is he saying something regarding the pandemic--how to prevent the spread, or how to cure it. Has he said anything," he told reporters in Salem.
The entire government machinery was working in full swing to contain the pandemic, and based on the guidance of WHO, the Centre, ICMR and the panel of experts appointed by it on the matter, he said.
The government's proper handling has resulted in lesser fatalities, even as Tamil Nadu fared better in positive to death ratio compared to other states, he said.
"This is due to the government acting on the basis of advice provided by the experts and treatment given by our doctors accordingly," he said, adding a whole lot of frontline workers were engaged in fighting against the virus.
Hitting out at MK Stalin, E Palaniswami said the former has made it a ''practice'' to criticise the government and the Chief Minister, "because he only stays indoors."
"Where has he gone. He has made occasional visits to show he is reaching out to people. But myself, deputy CM (O Panneerselvam), ministers and all others are doing our best," he added.
The virus was a ''new disease'' and even superpowers were struggling to cope with it, he said.
On the possible extension of the lockdown in the state, the Chief Minister said the government will decide on the matter after its discussions with the expert panel on Monday.
The government had earlier extended the lockdown in the state till June 30, besides going in for a more intense 12-day one in Chennai and its three neighbouring districts with high caseload from June 19.