As many as 589 cases were recorded across the country on Thursday; death toll hits 66
Maharashtra reported the maximum number of cases, followed by Delhi and Kerala
The number of covid-19 cases in India crossed 2,400 on Thursday, including a second case in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum, posing a major challenge for the authorities trying to control the contagion.
As many as 589 cases, the most in a single day, were recorded across the country, taking the total to 2,423. This was largely driven by infections among those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event last month in Nizamuddin, New Delhi.
Maharashtra has borne the highest burden of the disease, followed by Delhi and Kerala.
A chunk of more than 400 cases have an epidemiological link to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster at Nizamuddin, the ministry of health and family welfare said on Thursday.
The government said it is tracing around 9,000 people who were either part of the congregation or came into contact with those who attended the religious event, including 1,306 foreigners. At present, 1,804 such persons are under quarantine.
“The maximum number of cases (related to the Nizamuddin event), 173, were found in Tamil Nadu, 11 cases in Rajasthan, 9 in Andaman and Nicobar, 47 in Delhi, 2 in Puducherry, 22 in Jammu and Kashmir, 33 in Telangana, 67 in Andhra and 16 cases in Assam. We are doing additional testing and more cases are likely to emerge," said Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.
Maharashtra on Thursday reported 88 cases of covid-19, taking the total in the state to 423, the highest in the country, according to the state’s public health department. There have been 19 covid-19 related deaths in the state.
Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum located in the country’s financial capital Mumbai, reported a second confirmed covid-19 case in less than 24 hours, according to a senior municipal official. The patient is a 52-year-old sanitation worker who was assigned to the Dharavi area but lives in adjacent Worli, according to a corporation official. On Wednesday, a 56-year-old resident of Dr Baliga Nagar slum rehabilitation society in Dharavi succumbed to the virus. The victim had no history of travel to foreign countries.
The Maharashtra health department has identified 30 government hospitals that will be dedicated for the treatment of covid-19, according to state health minister Rajesh Tope.
The number of cases in Delhi went up by 141, the highest single-day increase in the national capital and the second-highest in the country. The total number of cases is now 293. As many as 182 of these are from the Nizamuddin event, with 129 people testing positive on Thursday. The toll in the national capital has risen to four.
Kerala confirmed 21 fresh cases, taking its total to 286, including two people who returned after attending the meet in Nizamuddin, which is now a virus hotspot, said chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The state is home to seven top or emerging hotspots. The number of cases in Tamil Nadu rose to 234.
Public health experts have warned that community transmission is already happening, though the government has maintained that India is still in the stage of local transmission. “The initial triggers in all these cases have been foreigners or Indians returning from aboard. However, now an apparent community transmission is a real issue as several suspected cases have already travelled and have potentially infected many others," said Dr H.S. Chabbra, medical director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.
Leroy Leo and Pretika Khanna, Nidheesh M.K. in Ernakulam, Sharan Povanna in Bengaluru, Romita Majumdar in Mumbai and Yunus Y. Lasania in Hyderabad contributed to this story.
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