The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Friday that 647 confirmed cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat group have been detected in the last two days, from 14 states. Joint Health Secretary Lav Agarwal said that over the last few days, the increase in cases is due to cases on a “particular level”, referring to the Tablighi Jamaat group.
India has so far reported 2,301 cases of Covid-19, and 56 patients have died, the ministry said. It added that 156 patients have recovered. Agarwal said the spike in the number of cases over the past few days showed how necessary it was to follow social distancing norms.
Ministry of Home Affairs spokesperson Punya Salila Shrivastava said that 960 foreigners who are connected with Tablighi Jamaat have been blacklisted. As many as 360 foreigners, who participated in the activities of the organisation and have now returned to their countries, have also been blacklisted, she said.
On Thursday, the Centre had said that around 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts who attended a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month – that later emerged as an infection hotspot – had been quarantined. Thousands of people had visited the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat, who organised the event, in a narrow winding Delhi lane last month, to participate in the religious congregation. As many as seven people – one from Kashmir and six from Telangana – died of Covid-19 in the days following the congregation.
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Friday said that around 1,400 people from the state, who had attended the religious congregation, have been traced, PTI reported. “The quarantine facilities for them will be put in place in their respective districts,” the minister told the news agency.
Health department officials in Maharashtra said that 423 people tested positive for Covid-19 so far, and 21 have died. Earlier, the Maharashtra government said it had last month withdrawn permission for a Tablighi Jamaat congregation scheduled for March 12 and March 13 as the Covid-19 crisis began to escalate in the state.
The Capital Complex administration in Itanagar, the capital of Arunachal Pradesh, has quarantined 24 persons who attended the congregation at Nizamuddin after a returnee tested positive, an administration official said on Friday.
Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Komkar Dulom said a red alert had been sounded across the state. The state government has so far collected 80 samples and sent them to Guwahati Medical College and Hospital and Regional Medical Research Centre of the Indian Council of Medical Research at Dibrugarh in Assam for coronavirus testing. As many as 61 of these samples have been found to be negative, while one tested positive and the results of 18 others are awaited.
NSA against six Tablighi Jamaat patients in Uttar Pradesh
Forty-seven people have tested positive in Uttar Pradesh, Additional Chief Secretary Awasthi Awasthi said. Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government said it will impose the National Security Act against six Tablighi Jamaat patients, who are accused of misbehaving with the women staff of the district hospital in Ghaziabad.
“They will not follow the law, nor will they accept order,” Chief Minister Adityanath said. “They are the enemies of humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not spare them.”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that five people have died of Covid-19 in Delhi so far, of which one was from the Markaz, ANI reported. He added that out of 384 positive cases in the national Capital, 259 had attended the Markaz event.
The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office said that 140 of the 161 cases in the state are members of the Tablighi Jamaat and their contacts. In Rajasthan, five more people related to the Nizamuddin event tested positive for Covid-19.
President Ram Nath Kovind expressed concern over the gathering of migrant workers in Anand Vihar and the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, saying that these two events were a setback to efforts to stop the spread of the disease in India, PTI reported citing a statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.