NEW DELHI: As India registered 376 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the Centre on Wednesday said that the numbers do not represent a national trend and the spike is primarily due to travel by those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the capital.
India’s official tally of confirmed novel coronavirus patient now stands at 1637 of which 132 have recovered while 38 have died.
Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary (JS) in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that 1,800 people related to Tablighi Jamaat have been shifted to nine hospitals and quarantine centers.
“The recent rise in the number of cases does not represent a national trend if compared with the previous trends in the country. But as we all know, naturally cases will grow due to negligence and carelessness,” said the JS.
“This is our advice that any kind of congregation should be avoided. Social distancing measures should be followed by everyone without failure.”
He added that additional sample testing is underway where the cases have spiked.
In the meeting with Chief Secretaries and DGP of states, Cabinet Secretaries also emphasized on intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants as this has increased the risk of containment efforts of COVID-19.
The states have been asked to complete the contact tracing process on a war footing, said a government statement.
“It has been found that foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamat have violated visa conditions. The States were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the organizers of the event.”
Authorities also announced that Railways is preparing to set up 3.2 lakh isolation and quarantine beds by modifying 20,000 coaches. Modification of 5,000 coaches has begun, through which 80,000 new isolation beds are expected.
"The civil aviation ministry has launched Lifeline Flights to transport things like essential commodities, PPEs, testing kits, medicines and masks. 15.4 tons of medical supplies have already been transported in the last five days," Agarwal said in the briefing.