Many states have seen a sharp spike in the last few days, fuelled by those who attended the meet and their contacts.
While the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the country has almost doubled in the last three days, from 1,251 on March 31 to 2,301 on April 3, about 28 per cent of the positive cases so far are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Capital last month.
Many states have seen a sharp spike in the last few days, fuelled by those who attended the meet and their contacts. Tamil Nadu, for instance, reported 102 new cases on Friday, of which 100 were linked to the Markaz Nizamuddin meet attended by over 4,000.
At the daily briefing, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said 647 cases linked to the gathering had been reported from 14 states so far. If we look at the last few days, the primary reason for increase is the number of cases at a particular level. Otherwise, because of our efforts to promote social distancing and effectively implement the lockdown, cases were coming but the rate of increase had not gone up. We have to understand that we are dealing with an infectious disease and one person’s failure puts us all back and all our efforts are a waste,he said.
The states from which cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been reported so far are: Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
In Tamil Nadu, State Health Secretary Beela Rajesh said of the 411 cases in the state so far, 364 were linked to the congregation. A total of 1,200 people who travelled to Delhi in this regard have been tested for COVID-19, 303 people tested negative and the final results are pending, she said.
Our containment zone covers up to 5 km from the potential cases, and a 2 km buffer zone is also being watched regularly by a massive team of health workers, she said.
Across the country, 232 new cases and 12 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll is now 56 – more than double the 27 deaths reported till March 30 – while 157 have recovered.
The last doubling of positive cases, from 606 to 1251, took five days (March 26-March 31). The epidemic doubling time is an estimate of the speed of spread of a disease and the success of containment measures. In South Korea (10,062 cases), it took 31 days to double; US (2,45,540 cases) took 6 days, and Italy (1,15,242 cases) took 12 days.M
Meanwhile, testing has picked up with 8,000 samples being tested in the last 24 hours. The total number of samples tested so far is 66,000. India’s daily capacity for testing is about 12,000 samples. ICMR is also finalising guidelines for the use of serological tests.