1,023 COVID-19 cases with links to Tablighi Jamaat reported from 17 states, UTs: Health ministry

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New Delhi, April 4: As many as 1,023 COVID-19 positive cases found in 17 states have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union Health Ministry said on Saturday, underlining that 35 per cent of the total novel coronavirus cases in the country are linked to the event.
Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal at the daily media briefing said the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in India is “pretty” less when compared to other countries.
He said there has been a rise of 601 COVID-19 positive cases since Friday. The total number of novel coronavirus cases is 2,902 in the country, Agarwal said.
Agarwal said 1,023 positive cases of COVID-19 related to Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been reported from 17 states and union territories.
The ministry in a statement said, “Out of the total 2,902 reported, 1,023 cases have been linked to Tablighi Jamaat across 17 states (and union territories) which include Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Telangana, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.”
“Rigorous contact tracing is on across the 17 states which have reported cases related to Tablighi Jamaat congregation,” the Agarwal said.
During the briefing, he said that “around 30 per cent of the total cases so far are linked to one particular place where we could not sort of understand it and manage it.”
The Tablighi Jamaat event, which had taken place earlier last month in the national capital’s West Nizamuddin area, became a key source for the spread of COVID-19 in India as many of the participants travelled to various parts of the country after attending it.
Giving the age profile of the total cases reported so far, Agarwal said 8.61% of the cases are in the age group of 0-20 years, 41.88% between 21 and 40 years, 32.82% between 41 and 60 years and 16.69% are above 60 years of age.
The government of India’s response has been proactive, preemptive and graded and the rate of doubling of COVID-19 cases in India is “pretty” low as compared to other countries, Agarwal said.
“We are dealing with an infectious disease and it is an every day battle and all our efforts will go in vain even if there is a slightest of a mistake,” the official said.
As many as 68 deaths, including 12 since Friday, have been reported, Agarwal said and added that 183 people have recovered or have been discharged.
Fifty-eight patients in the country mostly from Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi are currently in critical condition, he said.
The figure may vary on a daily basis based on ground situation, Agarwal said.
He said most of the deaths which have happened so far have been those who were old and had co-morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension, kidney or cardiac issues. Agrawal urged the high-risk population to follow the guidelines prescribed by the government.
India is increasing COVID-19 testing capacity progressively, the official said,
There is no need to panic but awareness is needed to fight the battle against COVID-19, he said.
Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR said that 75,000 samples have been tested so far.
To address requirements of containment and management of COVID-19, as many as 9.70 lakh Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), one lakh AYUSH professionals, National Cadet Corps cadets, ex-servicemen, and Red Cross, National Service Scheme and National Youth Corps volunteers will be involved when required, Agarwal said.
Besides them, he said gram panchayat and Urban Local Body employees, civil society organisations cam also be involved.
The official said there is a standard operating protocol (SOP) for reallocation of resident doctors and post graduate medical students and nursing students as part of hospital management.
In addition, more than 31,000 doctors including retired doctors from the government, armed forces medical services, public sector undertakings, and private doctors have voluntarily signed up to join the fight against COVID-19, Agarwal said.
Besides, 30 training modules have so far been prepared and compiled on various topics such as clinical management, ventilator support, infection prevention and control, quarantine management etc. are available online on the health ministry’s website. (PTI)