Chennai, Oct 2 (PTI): Tamil Nadu on Saturday logged 1,578 new COVID-19 infections pushing the overall caseload to 26,66,964, while 24 fatalities took the toll to 35,627.

Recoveries eclipsed new cases with 1,607 people getting discharged in the last 24 hours, aggregating to 26,14,291, leaving 17,046 active infections, a health department bulletin said.

Chennai accounted for most of the new infections with 188 cases, followed by Coimbatore 163 and Chengalpet with 107 while the remaining were scattered across districts.

Ariyalur, Perambalur, Ramanathapuram, Tenkasi and Theni saw new infections slide below the 10 mark, while there were no fresh deaths in 24 districts.

A total of 1,51,855 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, pushing the cumulative number of specimens examined to 4,72,99,526 till date, the bulletin said.

Among the deceased, one person did not have any comorbidity or pre-existing illness.

Meanwhile, Minister for Medical and Family Welfare Ma Subramanian said the government has increased the pay of 28,100 health care workers employed on contract under the National Health Mission by 30 per cent, which would cost an additional Rs 89 crore to the exchequer.

This was being done as per the orders of the Chief Minister M K Stalin, he told reporters.

"This government hails the services rendered by the medical workers. The increase in salary hike will cover Siddha and Indian medicine doctors, dentists, Information Technology coordinators, nurses..", he said.

On the vaccination front, Subramanian said 68 per cent of Tamil Nadu's population have received their first dose and the state expected it to touch 70 per cent by this month end, in line with World Health Organisation safe standards.

He urged those who were yet to receive their second dose to come forward without any hesitancy and get themselves inoculated. "Currently 20 per cent of the population have received the second dose. In the third Mega Vaccination camp held last Sunday, 10 lakh people received the second dose", he said.

In the fourth such camp scheduled for tomorrow, the number of people who receive the vaccination was expected to go up by three per cent, he said. "People who are aged over 65 years and those suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure should not hesitate to get the shots", he said.