- COVID-19 has killed 50 in India
- Sharp rise in positive cases linked to Nizamuddin event
- 437 cases reported on Wednesday, highest single-day rise
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The sharp increase in the number of cases has been linked to the controversial religious gathering held by Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat at the Markaz Nizamuddin in south Delhi. Thousands defied social distancing protocol to visit and stay at the 100-year-old complex. Overall at least 7,600 Indians and 1,306 foreigners with links to the group have been identified so far. Testing and isolation of suspected patients has begun but the number could increase as states hunt for more members.
Twenty-three states and four union territories have worked round the clock to identify 1,306 members of the organisation from other countries since the Markaz, or religious centre, was identified as a novel coronavirus hotspot by the centre. Data collected by the Home Ministry till Wednesday shows that of them, over 1,000 have been quarantined, 21 have tested positive and two have died.
This afternoon Prime Minister Narendra Modi and key Union Ministers, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, held a video conference with chief ministers of all states to review the fight against COVID-19. Among the issues discussed during the meeting was tracing contacts of those found infected with the virus.
A resident doctor from Delhi's prestigious AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) tested positive for the novel coronavirus today; he is the seventh Delhi doctor to contract the highly contagious virus. Two of the other doctors work out of Safdarjung Hospital, which is located directly opposite AIIMS.
In Mumbai a three-day-old baby and its mother tested positive after the hospital admitted a COVID-19 patient to their private room without informing them. The young father has posted an emotional video appeal to PM Modi and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Also in Mumbai, a second coronavirus case has been reported from Dharavi, Asia's largest slum, in less than 24 hours, heightening worries of a rapid spread in the financial capital. Yesterday, a 56-year-old man who tested positive for the highly contagious virus died. He had no travel history
The ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research, the government's nodal body to deal with the outbreak, has recommended that every resident in a coronavirus hotspot be tested with a fast-track Rapid Antibody test.Antibody tests are similar to blood tests. The results are available in 15-30 minutes.
The Delhi government has said it will use mobile phone signals to trace the movements of those instructed to remain under quarantine. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the measure was temporary and that over 25,000 numbers had been given to Delhi Police so far. Delhi has 152 active COVID-19 cases so far, with two deaths and six recoveries.
North East India has reported 20 COVID-19 cases so far, with 18 of those linked to the Markaz Nizamuddin gathering. Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have both reported their first coronavirus cases. In Assam, which has seen an explosion of cases, a 52-year-old cleric who runs a madrassa located 300 kilometres from Guwahati has tested positive for the virus. He had visited the Nizamuddin area in Delhi but did not attend the event. Across India Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu have reported the most number of cases, with 335, 265 and 234, respectively. At least 13 deaths have been reported from Maharashtra, with six each from Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus today praised PM Modi for his efforts to help the poor amid the 21-day "total lockdown" imposed to contain the coronavirus outbreak. Taking to Twitter, the WHO chief said lockdowns could have dire consequences for vulnerable sections of the society and thanked the Prime Minister for a Rs 1.75 lakh crore relief package that provides food and cash transfers.