647 confirmed coronavirus cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat, says govt
New Delhi, April 3, 2020
There are at least 647 confirmed cases of coronavirus found to have links with Tablighi Jamaat in the last two days, the government said on Friday.
Speaking to the media at a press conference here, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal said: "There are a total of 2,301 coronavirus cases reported so far in India and 56 deaths have been reported from the country, of which 12 deaths have been reported since yesterday.
"As many as 157 patients have recovered. In the last two days, 647 confirmed cases in 14 states in the country have been found with links wto Tablighi Jamaat."
The states from which these cases of linkage with Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been reported are Andaman & Nicobar, Assam, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, said the Health Ministry.
Agarwal said the cases had spiked recently due to a particular reason, hinting at the Tablighi Jamaat episode.
"Otherwise, our efforts to promote lockdown and social isolation were resulting in less number of cases," he said.
Home Ministry Joint Secretary Punya Salila Srivastava, who was also present, told the media that incidents related to the security of the health care and frontline workers have happened therefore the Home Ministry has directed the states to take stringent actions in such matters and ensure the security of the medical fraternity.
"The Home Ministry has blacklisted at least 960 Tablighi Jamaat related foreign nationals who were in India on tourist visas. At least 360 people who participated in Tablighi Jamat activity but have gone back to their countries, the ministry is in the process of blacklisting them as well," said Srivastava, adding, "All DGPs and commissioner of Police have been instructed to take strict actions as per Disaster Management Act and Foreigner Act against all visa violations."
A cluster transmission of COVID-19 was reported after a religious congregation "Tablighi Jamaat' was recently organised at Markaz Nizamuddin in the capital, following which the number of coronavirus cases, including casualties, allegedly shot up in the country in the last few days.