Coronavirus cases spiked due to Tablighi Jamaat: Health Ministry

New Delhi, April 1, 2020-

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday said that coronavirus cases may rise due to negligence and carelessness. The ministry said this with reference to the recent Markaz Nizamuddeen episode in Delhi.

Speaking at a press briefing, Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said at least 386 new positive cases of novel coronavirus and three new deaths have been reported in the country, but it should not be looked as a trend. However the number of cases might rise due to negligence and carelessness.

“Till now, there are 1637 COVID19 cases, including 386 new positive cases and three new deaths since yesterday. Main reason for increased number of cases is that members of Tablighi Jamaat have travelled across the country.

“As many as 38 deaths have been reported and 132 people have recovered,” the Joint Health Secretary told media.

“1,800 people related to Tablighi Jamaat have been shifted to 9 hospitals and quarantine centers. However, the recent rise in the number of cases does not represent a national trend if compared with the previous trends in the country. But as we all know that naturally cases will grow due to negligence and carelessness. This is our advice that any kind of congregation should be avoided. Social distancing measures should be followed 100 percent,” said Agarwal.

Agarwal told media that 23 new confirmed cases from Jammu and Kashmir, 20 new cases from Telangana, 17 new cases from Andhra Pradesh, 9 new cases from Andman and Nicobar,65 new cases from Tamil Nadu,18 new cases from Delhi, 2 new cases from Puduchary have been reported due transit related history and additional sample testing is underway where the cases have spiked.

Agarwal also said that Railways is preparing to set up 3.2 lakh isolation and quarantine beds by modifying 20,000 coaches. Modification of 5000 coaches has begun though which 80,000 new isolation beds are expected.

“The civil aviation ministry has launched Lifeline flights to transport things like essential commodities, PPEs, testing kits, medicines and masks. 15.4 tons of medical supplies have already been transported in last five days,” said Agarwal.

Agarwal also said that the Health Ministry has created an email id as per Supreme Court’s direction which said that misinformation needs to be checked. “technicalquery.covid19@gov.in is the email id through which a joint secretary-rank officer of Health Ministry and specialized doctors of AIIMS will provide technical support,” he said.

Talking about the recent regulation on medicines and other medical devices, Agarwal told media that National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority issued a notice which said from April 1, 24 classes of medical devices will be regulated as drugs for quality control and price monitoring under the drug price control order of 2013. According to this notice, manufacturers of these devices cannot hike the MRP more than 10 percent of the previous year’s rate. “This has been mandated so that price of medicines remain stable,” said Agarwal.

The Chief Scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar, who was also present at the press conference, told media, “We have conducted 47,951 tests. There are 126 labs in ICMR network, 51 private labs have also been approved to conduct the test.”

He also said that 4,562 tests have been conducted in government labs and the private labs have done 816 cases since yesterday. “We have used 38 per cent of our testing capacity,” he said.  (Agency)


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