NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday linked at least 400 new COVID-19 cases, identified in the last few days, to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi as the total number of cases is set to touch 2,000 mark.
India has registered 328 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, with 15 deaths, taking the total number of infected patients to 1965. A total of 152 patients have now also been declared cured.
Authorities from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs in the daily briefing on the COVID-19 status said that a total of 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their primary contacts have been identified so far and quarantined.
On Wednesday too, the Centre had said that the recent spike in cases was related to the Jamaat congregation last month and did not represented a national trend.
“1306 of them are foreigners and the rest are Indians. However, these numbers could rise if more contacts are reported,” said Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary in the MHA on Thursday.
There were about 2000 Jamaat workers in Delhi, including around 250 foreigners.
“1804 of them have been shifted to quarantine centres and 302 symptomatic cases have been hospitalized,” Srivastava added.
The Jamaat members were identified from Andaman & Nicobar, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry, added the representative from the health ministry.
“400 cases have been identified from these states with epidemiological linkages to this cluster. Additional testing is going on and more positive cases may get linked to this cluster,” said Lav Agarwal, JS in the health ministry.
Agarwal said that most of the coronavirus cases among the Jamaat members were from Tamil Nadu while considerable numbers of cases have also been detected in Delhi, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir among other states and UTs.
Officials said that in a meeting with Chief Ministers on Thursday on the COVID-19 situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged them to manage the crisis at the district level and focus on testing, isolation and quarantine facilities.
States were also requested to upgrade human resources in healthcare, conduct online training of frontline workers along with increasing the strength of existing capacity through involvement of retired health workers from Government and private hospitals, NGOs and National Sample Survey.