India today braced for the health impact of a steep rise in new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Of the 386 fresh cases reported across the country since Tuesday, 154 (40 per cent) had attended the religious congregation that the Muslim missionary group, Tablighi Jamaat, had organised at Nizamuddin here.
The Ministry of Health said “the cases had risen from 1,251 at 4 pm on Tuesday to 1,637 at 4 pm today . This was the highest one-day rise in the tally in a 24-hour bracket since the reporting of the first case on January 30”.
Of the 154 confirmed cases involving Nizamuddin event attendees, the highest – 65 are from Tamil Nadu followed by 23 from Jammu and Kashmir, 20 from Telangana, 18 from Delhi, 17 from Andhra Pradesh, nine from Andaman and Nicobar Islands and two from Puducherry.
Experts said that “they were monitoring if the Nizamuddin cluster had the potential to impact India’s disease curve that was stable until Sunday at around 1,000 cases before the cases spiked on Tuesday”.
All states that have reported cases related to the Tablighi event have been notified to undertake intensive drives to trace the contacts of patients, test them, quarantine or isolate them depending on their health risk profile. Additional sample testing is going on in other states. The one-day increase of 386 does not represent a national trend. We all know failure anywhere will lead to such a rise in cases.
The government appeals to all to avoid religious gatherings and follow directions on social distancing,” Lav Agarwal, spokesperson, Health Ministry, said”Maharashtra, HP, UP and Assam are testing samples from people with Nizamuddin travel history”.
The Centre didn’t rule out further rise in the cases due to the Nizamuddin cluster that has left worried surveillance teams. However, the government didn’t comment on whether the country risked entering the community transmission stage due to the cluster.
Meanwhile, the police today evacuated all 2,361 residents at Tablighi Jamaat headquarters here. Of these, 1,800 were quarantined at nine facilities and 617 taken to hospitals for testing.
In a video conference with state chief secretaries and DGPs, Cabinet Secretary Rajeev Gauba asked them to monitor any potential ramifications of the new disease clusters and urged them to ensure migrant welfare at relief camps.