Delhi reported a 47% spike in the number of Covid-19 patients on Sunday, as 23 new cases took the total to 72 so far, the Chief Minister’s Office said. This is the highest single-day spike recorded in the city till now. Five of these 72 patients have been discharged, two have died, and one has left the country.

However, in its Monday morning update, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare confirmed only 53 patients in Delhi. The ministry takes time to update its numbers with the data given by state governments.

Six of the 23 new cases were traced to a recent gathering at a mosque in Delhi’s Nizamuddin West locality, The Indian Express reported. Among the others, 13 patients had a travel history and four were reportedly cases of local transmission.

Dozens being tested in Nizamuddin West

The six patients linked to the mosque in Nizamuddin West are not from Delhi and are said to be members of a Tablighi Jamaat group who attended an event there earlier this month. The gathering reported had visitors from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Six people who attended the gathering at the mosque tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday after they returned home to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, The Hindu reported. Another such person, a 65-year-old man, died in Srinagar on Thursday after attending the event. A 52-year-old tested positive after returning home in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.

The six people who tested positive on Sunday were taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Jhajjar, The Indian Express reported.

Meanwhile, a group of at least 175 people who may have attended the event were tested for the coronavirus in various hospitals in Delhi, NDTV reported. Over 2,000 people have been quarantined in Nizamuddin West. A team of doctors has been posted in the locality to assess people with symptoms.

“People who attended the event are not just from Delhi, but other states as well – positive cases have been reported from Telangana and the Andamans,” an unidentified official told The Indian Express. “When health officers in those states began contact tracing, they discovered that the patients had visited Nizamuddin. That’s how we discovered the mosque, which has now been closed for sanitisation.”

This is reportedly the largest single group being tested at the same time for Covid-19, the communicable disease caused by the coronavirus. Drones are also being used to monitor the movement of people to avoid further spread of the infection, NDTV reported.

‘Surge of cases likely’

Dr SK Sarin, the head of the five-member committee formed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to look into possible cases of community transmission in the city, told The Indian Express that Delhi is likely to witness a surge of cases in the coming days.

“There is a possibility that samples which have been lying pending for long have been put on testing since testing kits have been increased by the Indian Council of Medical Research,” he was quoted as saying. “But the picture will be clear in a day or two only. There is also a fear that these 23 new cases may have transmitted the virus to a fair number of people.”

He emphasised on the need for people to report themselves if there had any symptoms of the infection. “People should start going to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme to report themselves and take all people who they have been in contact with,” he said. “Delhi is completely ready for stage 1, which means recording 100 cases a day,” he added.

India began its sixth day in lockdown on Monday as confirmed Covid-19 cases stood at 1,071. Out of these, 942 are being treated, 29 people have died, 99 have recovered, and one person has migrated. The highest number of cases have been reported from Kerala and Maharashtra with 194 and 193 infections. Eight Covid-19 patients have died in Maharashtra – the highest in the country.