Tablighi super spreaders cause Covid-19 explosion in India

NEW DELHI: The connection to cases in India is exploding as these super spreaders cross the country to reach their hometowns.

According to a Health Ministry update released Thursday night, around 400 positive cases of coronavirus found in 10 states and Union territories have links to the Tablighi Jamaat group in Nizamuddin.

The numbers continue to rise as many more are testing positive. At night, between Tamil Nadu and Delhi, the cases are 264 and 124, respectively, showing the highest number of cases. In fact, all nine deaths in Telangana have the Tablighi connection.

With 400 cases, one in five cases in India has a Tablighi connection as of now and this proportion is likely to increase as new cases detected on Thursday are mainly related to Tablighi.

On Thursday, in state after state, the trend is that almost all new cases come with a Markaz connection. The Tablighi connection has now become the largest source of spread of the coronavirus despite 130 million crore being locked up in India.

Before this outbreak in Nizamuddin occurred, the increase in cases had softened and some commentators had even suggested that India might be better off than the other countries.

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The number of cases has seen an explosion after more than 2,000 people left Nizamuddin Markaz, the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi.

Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the Union Ministry of Health, said additional tests are being carried out to identify new cases, as people from the Nizamuddin area have moved to various states across the country.

The Health Ministry official added that of the almost 2,000 members of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, 1,804 have been quarantined and 334 have been admitted to different hospitals.

According to him, 129 new cases were reported by the Nizamuddin Markaz in one day. In total, 182 people have tested positive for the Nizamuddin Markaz so far. As of Wednesday night, only 52 had tested positive in the building.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal He said Thursday that the number of positive cases may increase massively.

The government decided to evaluate all those who were evacuated from the Markaz, Kejriwal said, adding that of the 2,348 people evacuated from the building, 1,810 people are in quarantine facilities, while 536 are in hospitals.

Two Nizamuddin Markaz evacuees died of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, he said.

The highest number of cases has been seen in Tamil Nadu, where at least 264 of the Tablighi group have tested positive. Of the 75 new cases that emerged in the state on Thursday, as many as 74 have a Tablighi connection.

The story is the same in the northeast, where of the 20 positive cases, 18 participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin Markaz last month.

According to Assam's health minister, three attendees at the Tablighi event in the Goalpara state district tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the state's count to 16.

Sarma had previously said that the Center had communicated to the state that more than 500 people from Assam had attended the Tablighi meeting.

In Andhra Pradesh, of the 143 cases, 99 are those who attended the Tablighi meeting in Delhi, although no deaths have been reported so far.

Telangana has seen the maximum number of deaths. The state has seen nine deaths, all of which attended the Tablighi event. The total number of cases in Telangana is 127, of which 50 fall under this criterion.

In Karnataka, 11 people who attended the Tablighi event tested positive for the dreaded virus, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said Thursday.

Up to 91 people from Bidar in the northern region of the state were evaluated and 11 of them reported that they were positive, while 80 were negative, Yediyurappa told reporters earlier that day.

On Thursday, the Chief Minister of Kerala reported that 157 Keralites have been identified, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat meeting.

Two of them are positive and are in treatment. These people have now been tracked down and hail from the state's 14 districts. These people are isolated in their homes or under observation in hospitals, while some of them are in Delhi as well, Vijayan said.

Three people from Himachal Pradesh, who had returned to the state after attending the Tablighi meeting, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, an official said. A total of 190 people have been identified to have returned to the state after attending the religious congregation in Delhi.

Meanwhile, Haryana's chief minister said Thursday that 725 people, who attended the Tablighi event, were held in quarantine.

Positive cases have also been traced with the Tablighi connection in Rajasthan.