Following a major health scare that happened after several COVID-19 positive cases emerged from an event held in Nizamuddin Markaz, Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan termed the event as a setback.The Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in Delhi has emerged as one of the major COVID-19 hotspots in the country.
Speaking about the same, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that the attendees gathered without informing the authorities at the time of a major health crisis.
"The impact of the Tablighi Jamaat has been a setback. These people gathered without informing the authorities at a time when a law was in place whereby the assembly of more than 5 people was prohibited. The foreigners added to the risk more," said Dr. Harsh Vardhan.
As many as 1,445 cases out of a total of 4,067 COVID-19 cases in India are linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation that was held earlier in March, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said on Monday. Further addressing the issue of the escalation in cases of Coronavirus in different states, the Health Minister said,
"The states have been told to evaluate the performance of their states. Their strategy will be sent to the Centre. The centre will then decide on what action should be taken. The Prime Minister is holding continuous meetings and will consult before taking any decision."
Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed that the government has so far quarantined over 25,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts. Five Haryana villages where they visited have also been sealed. Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz emerged as a coronavirus hotspot following a massive religious congregation attended by Indian and foreign nationals, many of whom contracted the virus.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers was held earlier on Monday, in which further discussions took place on the plan of action regarding COVID-19 challenges. The Health Ministry has released a detailed guideline focused on signs, symptoms and segregating cases.
"Rs 1,100 crore has already been released from the National Health Mission Funds for the states. Also, an additional amount of Rs 3,000 crore has been released today," he said.
As of date, over 4000 positive cases have been reported of the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) - 325 have been discharged and Maharashtra reported the highest at 868. 114 deaths have been reported to date. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries. The Prime Minister has issued a 21-day countrywide lockdown starting from 23 March to April 15 and the Finance Minister has announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore package under the 'PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme'.