Speaking exclusively to Republic TV on Monday, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur said that 50 per cent of the total positive COVID-19 cases in the state are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz earlier in March.
Himachal has reported 13 positive cases to date, of which seven fresh cases with links to Markaz have been hospitalised in IGMC Medical College, Shimla and Tanda Medical College of the state. Among the total infected people, two have recovered while one has passed away.
CM Jairam Thakur said, after warning of strict actions against the participants of Nizamuddin Markaz for hiding their travel history, 52 attendees came forward for COVID-19 testing. They have been kept under quarantine, and seven of them have tested positive for the deadly disease, he added.
"The Nizamuddin Markaz is an unfortunate incident which is causing great difficulty to the authorities battling the pandemic," Jairam Thakur told Republic TV.
The Himachal Pradesh CM further expressed willingness to extend the lockdown, stating it is the only way to control the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
"We are ready to take every action to eradicate the disease from the state. People are ready to extend the lockdown even further. Staying safe at home is the only option to curb the rising number of positive cases in the country," Jairam Thakur said.
As many as 1,445 cases out of a total of 4,067 COVID-19 cases in India are linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Joint Secretary Lav Aggarwal said on Monday.