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India sees highest spike in cases, Nizamuddin becoming epicenter

New Delhi: India is witnessing one of the sharpest spike in the number of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) as 227 people tested positive in 24 hours, taking the country’s total to 1,251 with 32 deaths. However, 102 people have been cured.

The Union Health Ministry in its updated report said that 32 deaths have been reported in India so far, with highest eight from Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat with five fatalities.

“A total of 102 patients have been cured and discharged,” it said.

Among the 27 states and union territories having Coronavirus patients, Kerala has the highest tally of positive cases at 202, followed by Maharashtra at 198. Delhi recorded 87 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 82 positive cases from Uttar Pradesh.

India has been under a 21-day lockdown due to Coronavirus till April 14.

Earlier in the day, the government denied as “rumors” that the 21-day nationwide lockdown would be extended.

Meanwhile, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Tuesday that 24 people have been found corona positive in the Nizamuddin markaz that has turned into ground zero of the new cases spiraling out of control following an ijtima in mid-March.

Giving details of the case reported in Nizamuddin, Jain said that the government is not certain of the number but it is estimated that 1,500-1,700 people had assembled at the Markaz building.

The Delhi Health Minister said that 1,033 people have been evacuated so far of which 334 have been sent to hospital and 700 have been sent to the quarantine centre. Jain said that 24 cases have been found to be positive for coronavirus.

The Markaz, also known as Banglewali Masjid, is a six-storey building complex that can house up to 2,000 people. It shares its wall with the Nizamuddin police station and is adjacent to the famous shrine of Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya.

Starting March 13 there was meeting held here with people from Kashmir to Andaman islands attending it, besides Saudis, Thais, Indonesians, that has seen already six alone die in Telangana after their return.

A high level meeting was held at the residence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the situation pertaining to the corona spread in the markaz building, 24 hours after the news of the Tablighi spread like wildfire.

Intense sanitization is underway in the Nizamuddin basti area. The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium is also being prepared as a contingency plan for creating capacity for isolation.

The Nizamuddin dargah clarified it has no connection with the Tableghi Jamat Markaz of Nizamuddin. The dargah had stopped gatherings in line with advisories during second week of March. The Markaz is half a kilometre away from the dargah.

Even as the authorities are rushing to locate the persons from the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference at Nizamuddin in Delhi, the AP government has managed to locate 369 people from the state.

With most of the COVID-19 affected persons in AP turning out to be the participants or a contacts of a participant of the congregation held between March 15-17, the government has intensified efforts to quarantine them on a war footing.

As per the statement issued by the state government, 369 persons from Andhra Pradesh had attended the Mashoora or convocation conducted in Nizamuddin.

In neighboring Telangana too, the state government on Monday had announced the death of 6 persons, who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi.

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