Sixteen more patients — 11 in Prakasam and five in SPSR Nellore district — succumbed to coronavirus in the last 24 hours as of Monday morning, taking the toll to 222 in the south coastal Andhra region.
In Ongole, the Government General Hospital mortuary overflowed with the bodies of the deceased as the toll in Prakasam district went up to 122.
In SPSR Nellore district, the tally touched the century-mark with five fresh deaths being reported.
The number of positive cases rose to 961 during the period with 511 more persons contracting the disease in SPSR Nellore district and 430 in Prakasam district.
The health authorities, who worked overtime to treat the patients, had some solace as 582 patients responded well to treatment and got cured in SPSR Nellore district. In Prakasam district, 310 patients were discharged on recovery during the period.
Meanwhile, SPSR Nellore District Collector K.V.N.Chakradhar Babu, along with Joint Collector V. Vinod Kumar launched a pilot sero surveillance in Indiramma Colony at Venkatachalam on the Nellore outskirts. The blood samples from 3,750 persons would be collected from COVID-19 hotspots in Nellore city, a rural mandal and two towns with a view to assessing the level of COVID-19 antibodies in them to work out strategies to prevent the spread of the disease, said sero surveillance nodal officer G. Venkataprasad.
Health workers in Prakasam district traced 1,989 primary and secondary contacts of the newly-infected persons and isolated them. Four new very active clusters were created as the disease spread across 249 clusters in Prakasam district. As many as 45 patients were put in intensive care unit as their condition turned critical, while 418 patients were given treatment from O2 beds as they developed uneasiness in breathing. As many as 1,351 asymptomatic cases were treated from their homes, while 1,089 more patients were provided treatment from COVID-19 care centres.
A 108 ambulance driver was among the 38 persons who contracted the virus in Ongole. The new cases came from among other places, Podili(45), Gudlur(28), Korisapadu(23), V.V. Palem(18),Martur(18), Ballikurava(15) and Addanki (14).