NEW DELHI: With 601 people testing positive for COVID-19 since Friday evening, about 60% of them linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, India recorded its highest 24-hour spike in the number of confirmed cases.
Of the total 3,072 confirmed cases in the country on Saturday, 1023 have been linked to the congregation.
As a precautionary measure, the Centre has quarantined nearly 22,000 Tablighis and some of their contacts. Officials said efforts were on to trace all their contacts.
“There are 1,023 positive cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat in 17 states. We could not understand and manage it and the cases increased due to this. Coordinated efforts and stringent measures are required. This chain is as strong as its weakest link and we need everyone’s support and guidelines and lockdown be followed,” said Health ministry Joint Secretary, Lav Agarwal.
More than 2,000 people were evacuated from Nizamuddin Markaz on Wednesday after several people who had participated in the event, including foreign nationals, tested positive in different parts of the country. This has led to a sharp rise in the coronavirus cases in India in the last few days.
“It is a continuous battle and contact tracing is done in every state. It is an infectious disease and any error can belie all our efforts,” said Agarwal.
As many as 68 deaths, including 12 since Friday, have been reported, Agarwal said adding that 183 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals. Several new cases were reported from many states on Saturday.
In Andhra Pradesh 26 people tested positive, taking the state’s total count of cases to 190. All the new cases there were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event.
Meanwhile, Karnataka confirmed 16 new cases on Saturday according to the state’s health department.