647 COVID-19 cases reported across 14 States linked to Tablighi Jamaat: Health Ministry

The Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 after several positive cases from across India were linked to the gathering including deaths in Maharashtra, Karnataka.
Delhi fire service staff sanitise area near the Nizamuddin mosque in New Delhi.(Photo | Anil Shakya, EPS)
Delhi fire service staff sanitise area near the Nizamuddin mosque in New Delhi.(Photo | Anil Shakya, EPS)

NEW DELHI: With the full extent of the coronavirus load tied to the ill-advised congregation of Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi slowly unravelling, the Union health ministry on Friday said about 30 per cent of all positive cases in the country were linked to the event.

As many as 647 of the 2,322 positive cases in the country have been sourced to the Nizamuddin Markaz, the ministry said. The 647 positive cases detected in the last two days had a really wide footprint, as they were reported from 14 states and Union Territories — Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, Health ministry officer Lav Agarwal said. The numbers could go up further.

People need to understand that coronavirus is an infectious disease. All efforts towards containment of the spread of the disease may go to waste because of even one failure, Agarwal warned.In all, 336 new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. With 12 fatalities reported within that time span, the overall toll has gone up to 56.

As for the 960 foreigners who came on tourist visa and participated in Tablighi activities, the Union home ministry ruled out immediate deportation. “At this stage there is no question of deportation...As and when deportation will take place, it will be as per standard health protocol,” said Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the ministry.

Meanwhile, more reports of Tablighis in quarantine refusing to follow social distancing and creating nuisance came in from hospitals in Delhi. Doctors treating them sought enhanced security outside and within the hospitals. To deal with the allegedly unruly Tablighis in a Ghaziabad hospital, the UP government threatened to invoke the National Security Act against them.

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The New Indian Express