Thursday, April 22

9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members quarantined, includes over 1300 foreigners

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India reported 328 new coronavirus cases since yesterday which took the combined tally of the infected from 29 states and Union Territories to 1965, including 50 deaths, a dozen of which were reported in the last 24 hours, health ministry said on Thursday.

The central government officials added that a total of 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their primary contacts have been identified so far and put in quarantine. 1306 of them are foreigners and the rest are Indians. However, these numbers could rise if more contacts are reported.

“There were about 2000 Jamaat workers in Delhi, including around 250 foreigners. 1804 of them have been shifted to quarantine centres and 302 symptomatic cases have been hospitalized,” said Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary of the home ministry.

The Jamaat members were identified from Andaman Nicobar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Puducherry, a senior health ministry official added.

“400 cases have been identified from these states with epidemiological linkages to this cluster. Additional testing is going on and more positive cases may get linked to this cluster,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health.

Agarwal said that most of the coronavirus positive cases among the Jamaat members were from Tamil Nadu.

“173 positive cases have been found from Tamil Nadu, 11 from Rajasthan, 9 from Andaman Nicobar, 47 from Delhi, 33 from Telangana, 67 from Andhra Pradesh, 16 from Assam, 22 from Jammu and Kashmir and two from Puducherry,” Agarwal said, and added that this number could increase as results of more samples come in over the next few days.

The government officials at the routine daily briefing on Covid-19 status and government’s containment efforts said that states have been again asked to strictly implement the lockdown provisions without any exceptions.

“Lockdown violations are a punishable offence under the Disaster Management Act and states have been asked to strictly enforce the provisions without any fear or favour,” Agarwal said.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi advised the chief ministers of states to priorities “testing, tracing, isolating and quarantining” and requested them to send him suggestions for a staggered exit from the nationwide lockdown that ends on April 14.

During the interaction, the Prime Minister thanked the states for supporting the lockdown decision due to which India has achieved some success in limiting the spread of Covid-19.