Tablighi Jamaat congregation even as the authorities reported 25 more positive cases in the capital linked to the event.
On Friday, Delhi government reported 93 new cases of which 77 had attended the Jamaat function last month. These include the 52 admitted to
AIIMS Jhajjar, about whom TOI had already reported on Thursday.
A member of the Jamaat, who was evacuated from the
Nizamuddin mosque three days ago and shifted to AIIMS Jhajjar, died two days ago. The authorities said on Friday that his test results have now come positive for Covid-19. The other coronavirus-linked death in the capital isn’t connected to the Jamaat, they added.
“A 78-year-old man with known co-morbidities, who had tested positive for Covid-19, died at a private hospital in east Delhi. He wasn’t connected to Tablighi Jamaat,” said an official.
On March 27, Delhi’s Covid-19 count stood at 72. Within a week, the number has jumped to 386, mainly on account of the explosion of new cases linked to Jamaat.
More than 3,000 Tablighi members, including some foreigners from countries affected by Covid-19, participated in religious congregations at the Nizamuddin mosque last month. Of the 386 cases reported in Delhi, 67% (259) are Jamaat members, Delhi health officials said.
The number may go up further as reports of many members of the organisation, who are quarantined at various hospitals and isolation facilities, is awaited, sources said.
At least eight Covid-19 patients, mostly Jamaat members, admitted in various hospitals in Delhi are on ICU support and two are on ventilator support. Five others – four at
Lok Nayak hospital and one at Rajiv Gandhi Super Specialty Hospital (RGSSH) – are on oxygen support, the state government said.
Covid-19 cases linked to Tablighi members have been 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, Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, said on Friday. “If we see the rise in cases in the last few days, it has primarily been due to an increase at a particular level,” he added, in an apparent reference to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
Aggarwal said because of the lockdown and “our efforts to promote social distancing, cases are were being reported but there was no sharp rise”.
Meanwhile, the sudden spurt in Covid-19 cases has put the health infrastructure under duress. At Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital in West Delhi, where 38 Covid-19 positive patients are admitted, one nursing orderly were found positive for the novel
coronavirus on Friday. All his contacts have been asked to self-quarantine and report about symptoms such as fever or dry cough.
Two nurses at Delhi State Cancer Institute, which was temporarily shut on Wednesday after one of the doctors there tested positive for Covid-19, have also tested positive for the coronavirus, triggering an alarm over spread of the disease among hospital staff. One doctor at a private hospital in west Delhi has also been found positive for Covid-19.
Across country, around 50 medical professionals – who may not be essentially involved in Covid-19 management – have been found positive Covid-19 till date. On Thursday, a senior resident doctor at AIIMS and his wife, who is in advanced stage of pregnancy, tested positive for Covid-19.
More than 10 colleagues who were in touch with him are being screened for the infection. The doctor was using a DTC bus arranged for the hospital to commute from his home to AIIMS for the past few days and it is suspected that some of his co-passengers may also been infected, triggering a scare among healthcare workers at the premier medical institute.