Nearly 30 per cent Coronavirus cases linked to Tablighi event, says Union health ministry

Updated: Apr 19, 2020, 07:36 IST | Agencies | New Delhi

Lav Agarwal said these cases are spread across 23 states and Union Territories, which include most of the high-degree burden cases

Firefighters in Kolkata spray disinfectant inside a market as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Pic/AFP
Firefighters in Kolkata spray disinfectant inside a market as a preventive measure against COVID-19. Pic/AFP

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said 4,291 or about 30 per cent of the Coronavirus cases in the country have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. In Delhi, 63 per cent of the reported 1,707 cases are linked to the same gathering.

The total number of confirmed cases in India is 14,792. So far, 488 people have succumbed to the disease. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is 3.3 per cent. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, said that 4,291 cases are epidemiologically linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz event. "These cases are spread across 23 states and Union Territories, which include most of the high-degree burden cases. There are 84 per cent cases in Tamil Nadu, 63 per cent in Delhi, 91 per cent in Assam, 61 per cent in Uttar Pradesh and 83 per cent in Andaman & Nicobar.

"If lockdown and social distancing norms are not followed, then the entire country would have to face the consequences," said Agarwal. He also added that 47 districts in 23 states have shown positive trends in the fight against the outbreak in the country. "One district each in Puducherry and Karnataka has not reported a positive case yet. Along with this, 22 new districts, split across various states, have also not reported new cases in the last 14 days," added Agarwal.

Probe in Tablighi funding
The role of money exchanger RM & RM Associates based in Delhi's Nizamuddin and a chartered accountant working with Tablighi Jamaat is being scrutinised by Crime Branch sleuths of Delhi Police to ascertain foreign remittance received by the Jamaat, a senior IPS officer said.

The role of RM & RM Associates was flagged by senior police officers in the case against Tablighi Jamaat. Deputy Commissioner of Police Joy Tirkey has been directed to probe the financial aspects in the case. Senior officers have issued directions to Tirkey to question owners and employees of RM & RM Associates. "They should be thoroughly questioned about the amount of remittance received from foreign countries by the Tablighi Jamaat," the direction stated.

Medical supplies flown
The Centre on Saturday said that under the Lifeline Udan initiative, 274 flights have transported around 463.15 tonnes of medical supplies across the country till April 17. "About 274 flights have been operated under Lifeline Udan by Air India, Alliance Air, IAF and private carriers. Cargo transported till date is around 463.15 tonnes," the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said in a statement on Saturday.

GoM may enlist retired docs
A Group of Ministers' meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday reviewed the situation in the wake of lockdown. The meeting examined suggestions received to enlist services of retired doctors and medical students in the final year of their graduation.

Plasma Therapy in Gujarat
After Kerala, Gujarat has become the second state to have started Convalescent Plasma Therapy from Saturday to treat patients. An oral nod from the concerned Central Government agencies has been obtained and the state has started the preparations to commence the treatment of patients in two of the Ahmedabad hospitals. Jayanti Ravi, principal secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Gujarat, said, "We have obtained the Drug Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval over phone."

Punjab cop succumbs
Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) Anil Kohli, who was posted in Ludhiana city, on Saturday succumbed to the virus. The 52-year-old officer was diagnosed positive on April 13. The officer was on ventilator in a private hospital in Ludhiana since April 11, Civil Surgeon Rajesh Bagga said.

In a first-of-its-kind clinical use of convalescent plasma therapy in the state, doctors on Saturday decided to try to cure him by using plasma of another young volunteer patient. Doctors said he died due to multiple organ failure.

Railways makes contactless cubicles for COVID-19 doctors in Karnataka

The South Western Railway (SWR) zone's Hubballi workshop has produced a contactless doctors' cubicle to treat patients without direct contact, an official said on Saturday. "SWR Hubballi workshop has come out with an innovative idea by creating contactless cubicles so that doctors checking suspected patients do not come in direct physical contact with them," a SWR spokesperson said in a statement. Looking like a telephone booth of yesteryears, the transparent cubicle will enable a doctor to put his hands out through two flexible glove-like protrusions to reach the patient.

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