NEW DELHI: India registered 376 cases of COVID-19 in last 24 hours, with the Centre asserting that the numbers do not represent a national trend as the spike is primarily due to travel by the people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi.
The official tally of confirmed novel coronavirus patients stands at 1,637 of which 132 have recovered while 38 died. At a press briefing on Wednesday, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said 1,800 people related to the Tablighi Jamaat were shifted to nine hospitals and quarantine centres.
“The recent rise in the number of cases does not represent a national trend if compared with the previous trends. But as we all know, naturally cases will grow due to negligence and carelessness,” Agarwal, said. “Our advice is that any kind of congregation should be avoided. Social distancing measures should be followed by everyone without failure.”Additional sample testing is underway where the cases have spiked, Agarwal said.
In a meeting with chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba emphasised on intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants.
The states were 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 had violated visa conditions. The states were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the event organisers.”
Authorities announced that the Indian 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 essential commodities, PPEs, testing kits, medicines and masks. 15.4 tons of medical supplies have already been transported in last five days,” Agarwal said in the press briefing.