LUCKNOW: Forty-four new coronavirus cases surfaced in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, taking the count to 278, an official said.
About half of the total are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin, from where participants took the virus to several parts of the country.
Nine of the 44 fresh cases are from Ghaziabad, eight from Meerut, seven from Lucknow, three each from Agra, Lakhimpur Kheri and Shamli, two each from Varanasi, Hapur, Ghazipur and Rae Bareli, and one each from Barabanki, Auraiya and Banda.
Gautam Buddh Nagar district, which includes the New Delhi suburb of Noida, remains the worst-hit with 58 coronavirus positive cases, according to a statement by Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) Joint Director Vikasendu Agrawal.
Agra follows with 47 cases so far, Meerut 33, Ghaziabad 23, Lucknow 17, Saharanpur 13, Shamli 9, Kanpur 7, Varanasi 7, Banda 6, Bareilly 6, Basti 5, Ghazipur 5, Lakhimpur Kheri 4, Firozabad 4 and Hathras 4, among other districts.
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Three people have died in the state so far, one each from Basti, Meerut and Varanasi.
Altogether, 21 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital - eight each from Agra and Noida, three from Ghaziabad and one each from Lucknow and Kanpur.
Earlier, Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said 138 cases, about half of the total, are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.
He said most of the Jamaat-related cases were detected in Agra (29), Ghaziabad (14), Meerut (13), Shamli (8), Maharajganj (6), Kanpur (6) and Ghazipur (5).
The official said so far 31 districts have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The third coronavirus-related death in the state was reported in Varanasi on Friday.
Prasad said the patient suffered from diabetes.
"By the time he came to BHU hospital, his situation had deteriorated," he said, urging people to get themselves tested if they show symptoms of the disease.
"The public can avail the benefit of the health department helpline 18001805145. The trained staff will tell you whether you need to get yourself admitted or there is no reason to worry," he said.
He said there is no need to panic.
"People should adhere to social distancing and wash hands properly. The use of masks is advisable when you go to a public place," he said.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on said the lockdown to contain coronavirus will be lifted on April 15 but called for a mechanism to avoid crowding by people.
In a video conference with Members of Parliament from the state, he said all efforts will go waste if this happens after the lockdown is lifted.
The three-week nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ends on April 14 midnight.