Coronavirus Outbreak LATEST Updates: On the intervening night of 1-2 April around 12. 15 am, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted about three fresh positive cases of COVID-19 detected in Goalpara, taking the state’s tally of positive cases up by 16 in the state.
Sarma also stated that all the three individuals had a travel history traced to Nizamuddin in Delhi, where they had attended a religious conglomeration.
Authorities across states identified over more than 6,000 people who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin as more than 437 fresh cases of infection emerged on Wednesday to take the tally to 1,834 with 41 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare website.
The MOHFW figure includes 1,649 active cases, 143 cured or discharged and one migrated case.
But figures announced by states and union territories totalled 1,949 with at least 59 deaths, PTI reported.
The Ministry officials also said that cases have increased largely due to Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which took place in mid-March, and therefore technically it does not show a national trend.
They urged people to follow guidelines during the lockdown period and avoid congregations, including religious gatherings.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were among the places to report a large number of new cases. While more than 450 confirmed cases were reported by all states put together, they also reported at least 14 new deaths due to COVID-19.
Authorities said that more than 5,000 of those identified to have attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been quarantined, including in hospitals across states, while efforts are on to trace another 2,000 including in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
The list includes foreigners as well, while some of those identified by the state authorities are yet to return from Delhi to their respective native places.
Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra report deaths
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh reported its first coronavirus deaths with one casualty each in Gorakhpur and Meerut as the total number of positive patients rose to 113 in the northern state.
A 25-year-old Basti man had died at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College on Monday before his test reports had come in, Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said.
He was admitted there on Sunday, but was being treated at Basti’s district hospital and other places for liver and kidney ailments for the last three months.
The other UP victim was the 72-year-old father-in-law of a Maharashtra man, who had come to Meerut on a visit and infected 16 relatives, district officials said.
Thirty-two people, including three doctors at a government hospital, also tested positive in Delhi in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the National Capital to 152. Of the total number of cases, at least 53 are linked to the Tablighi event, the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office said.
Maharashtra reported six deaths and 33 new cases taking the tally to 335. Thirty of the new cases were found in Mumbai alone, two in Pune and one in Buldhana, PTI quoted a health official as saying.
A person also tested positive from Mumbai’s Dharavi — home to 15 lakh people and considered to the largest slum in Asia.
Five more tested positive in Punjab whereas one case was detected in Chandigarh.
Rajasthan reported 15 fresh cases, with thirteen of them reported from Jaipur’s Ramganj area, which has emerged as a virus hotspot. The other two cases were reported from Jodhpur, where a 65-year-old man with no travel history and a 61-year-old woman evacuated from Iran last week tested positive for the disease, Additional Chief Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said.
Kerala reported 24 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of people under treatment in the state to 237. The worst affected Kasaragod accounted for 12 positive cases, Ernakulam three and Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Malappuram and Kannur two cases each, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters after a COVID-19 review meeting this evening. One case was detected from Palakkad.
The cases of coronavirus in Assam rose to 13 after eight more cases were reported in the Golaghat district. State minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that all the new cases are attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu recorded its largest single-day jump in cases after 110 people who had attended the Jamaat’s congregation tested positive, taking the state’s total to 234. The tally in Andhra Pradesh nearly doubled with 43 persons testing positive. Most of the new cases were linked to the Tablighi event, officials said.
Madhya Pradesh reported one death and 20 new cases, taking the state tally to 86.
States race to identify Jamaat attendees.
Even as the National Commission of Minorities hauled up the organisers of the religious event for causing damage to the efforts to contain the contagion, states continued the search for the attendees.
According to PTI, authorities in different states said that over 6,000 attendees had been identified, of which 5,000 have been quarantine and a search is on for the remaining. They also urged the attendees to come forward on their own considering the threat posed by the disease, the news agency said.
Many states, including Telangana, Uttarkhand and Gujarat said that they had managed to identify and trace people who had attended the event.
Tamil Nadu reported that 1,131 attendees had returned to the state from Delhi, whereas, the Uttar Pradesh government identified as many as 569 participants of the religious congregation and isolated or quarantined them.
Telangana health minister E Rajender said that all but 160 of the 1,000 Jamaat returnees had been traced. While the Karnataka government has so far identified 78 people “associated” with the Nizamuddin event, Kerala has also zeroed in on all those who travelled to Delhi for the event.
The Uttarakhand government has also identified 26 such people but said they were yet to return from Delhi.
In Rajasthan, the government officials said 538 persons could have travelled to various parts of the state after attending the event. At least 81 Tablighi Jamaat returnees are suspected to be in Bihar, out of which 30 have been identified
In Gujarat, police said they have so far traced 72 persons to various districts adding that one of them died last week due to the disease. The remaining 71 have been quarantined, DGP Shivanand Jha said while urging other attendees to voluntarily come forward. The deceased, a 70-year-old man, hailed from Bhavnagar.
Tablighi attendees were also traced in West Bengal, Assam and also in neighbouring Nepal, where 18 attendees were identified and kept in quarantine.
Govt focuses on 10 hotspots across country
The government also focused its attention on hotspots identified across the country. In Delhi Nizamuddin West — the area where the Tablighi Jamaat was held — and Dilshad Garden, where the infection had spread from a Saudi-returned woman to her daughter, two relatives as well as a doctor at a Mohalla clinic.
Authorities had feared a spike in cases after the doctor had tested positive, but the situation appears to be under control so far.
In Rajasthan, Bhilwara, which had reported 26 cases and two deaths, and had emerged as a hotspot after a doctor and staff members of a private hospital tested positive, sparked off a massive surveillance exercise.
In Uttar Pradesh, Gautam Buddha Nagar, which has recorded the highest number of cases in the state, was marked as a hotspot as well.
Most of these cases were related to a private firm in Noida which was booked and sealed. Meerut, which recorded the first COVID-19 death from the state, is the second hotspot.
In Maharashtra, the cities of Pune and Mumbai have been designated as virus hotspots. In Mumbai, the novel coronavirus has claimed eight lives and there are 167 positive cases. The first two positive cases in the state had been detected in Pune.
In Gujarat, Ahmedabad, which has the highest number of cases in the state, has been designated as a hotpot while in Kerala, two districts — Kasargod and Pathanamthitta — are under surveillance though no deaths have been reported from either of the districts.
Eight villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur have been declared as red zones after it was found that 10 people from the district had attended the Tablighi congregation and two of them tested positive, said officials.
Delhi to track phones of those quarantined
As the nationwide lockdown entered the ninth day, states also stepped up efforts to ensure that lockdown and quarantine measures were complied with. In Delhi, over 249 cases were registered for violating government orders. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the police has been ordered to track mobile phones of people under home quarantine to check their movement and ensure no violations.
“We handed over a list of 11,084 phone numbers to police yesterday and 14,345 phone numbers today of people who have been asked to remain in home quarantine. The police will track if they are following the instructions on home quarantine or not,” Kejriwal said at a press conference.
The Maharashtra government designed an app called ‘Mahakavach’ to help health authorities in the state with contact tracing and tracking of quarantined COVID-19 patients. The app is currently being used in Nashik and will soon be released across the state, said an official release.
PM to hold video conference with CMs
Amid heightened efforts to contain the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra will also hold a video conference with all chief ministers on Thursday during which issues such as ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, movement of migrants and contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants are likely to come up for discussion, sources said.
The availability of essential items will also be discussed during the conference in the wake of the ongoing nationwide lockdown, which entered the 8th day on Wednesday.
In the meantime, the armed forces have made available over 9,000 hospital beds and more than 8,500 doctors and support staff across the country to deal with the rising cases of coronavirus infection, while Railways has also converted some of its coaches into isolation wards.
India is also looking at South Korea, Germany and China for procurement of cutting-edge technology and adopting best practices being followed by them in successfully containing the spread of coronavirus amid looming risk of the country entering the community infection stage of the pandemic, officials said.
More than 43,000 people have died due to COVID-19 worldwide so far since December, while more than 8.6 lakh infections have been reported so far. Nearly half of the world population is currently under partial or full lockdown, taking a big toll on the economy as well.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Apr 02, 2020 08:09:03 IST