Updated: March 30, 2020 1:29:10 am
Delhi recorded a 47% spike in coronavirus cases as 23 more people tested positive for the disease Sunday, taking the total number of cases in the capital to 72.
This is the highest single-day jump in the city so far.
Of the 23, six people, who have been admitted to AIIMS Jhajjar, are part of the Tablighi Jamaat outfit and attended an event held at a Nizamuddin West mosque last month, a Delhi health department official said, adding that more people who were part of the gathering or may have been in touch with the group are being identified and quarantined. The six are not residents of Delhi.
Officials zeroed in on Nizamuddin West after an 80-year-old resident of the area tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. According to sources, around 200 people have been quarantined from the area so far, and over 1,000 are being traced.
Of the 200, 99 with symptoms have been sent to various hospitals.
“People who attended the event are not just from Delhi, but other states as well — positive cases have been reported from Telangana and the Andamans. When health officers in those states began contact tracing, they discovered that the patients had visited Nizamuddin. That’s how we discovered the mosque, which has now been closed for sanitisation,” said an official.
A team of doctors has been posted at Nizamuddin to assess people with symptoms.
Apart from the six who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event, 13 who tested positive Sunday have a travel history, while four are cases of local transmission.
Of the 72 cases, five have been discharged while two people — a 68-year-old resident of West Delhi and a 60-year-old Yemeni national — have died.
When contacted, Dr S K Sarin, head of the five-member committee formed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to prepare the city’s health set-up for possible community transmission, told The Indian Express: “There is a possibility that samples which have been lying pending for long have been put on testing since testing kits have been increased by the ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). But the picture will be clear in a day or two only. There is also a fear that these 23 new cases may have transmitted the virus to a fair number of people. There is a likelihood of a surge in cases in the coming days. The only thing we need to do right now is ensure self-reporting of cases. People should start going to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme to report themselves and take all people who they have been in contact with. Delhi is completely ready for stage 1, which means recording 100 cases a day.”
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