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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 27 May 2020 2.08 AM IST

647 positive COVID-19 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat congregation: Health Ministry

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NEW DELHI: As many as 647 positive coronavirus cases have been reported across 14 States whose linkage can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster at Nizamuddin, the Centre said on Friday.

"A total of 647 cases of positive coronavirus cases have been reported from across 14 States whose linkage can be traced to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster at Nizamuddin," Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, told media here.

"The cases can be traced in Andaman and Nicobar, Assam, Delhi, Himachal, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh," added Aggarwal.

"Out of 12 deaths reported in the last 24 hours some are related to Tablighi Jamaat congregation," he added.

The Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 after several positive cases from across India were linked to the gathering including deaths in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana.

An FIR was earlier registered against Tablighi Jamaat head Maulana Saad and others under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 in the national capital.

Aggarwal further said that over 30 lakh people have downloaded 'AarogyaSetu' mobile app to help people assess the risk of COVID-19. The app enables people to assess themselves the risk for their catching the coronavirus infection.

Appreciating the role of various research organisations in tackling the COVID-19, Aggarwal said: "Various research organisations are helping us in tackling the coronavirus."

He said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a bio-suit to keep the medical, paramedical and other personnel engaged in combating COVID-19 safe from the deadly virus.

Dr Manoj V Murhekar of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that 182 labs are functioning across the country for COVID-19 diagnosis, out of which 130 are government labs. A total of 8,000 samples was tested for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, Home Ministry, said the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has written to State governments to take strict action in cases of attack on healthcare and frontline workers and ensure the security to the medical fraternity.

"There were seven helpline numbers in the control room of the Union Home Ministry. Now, we have introduced two more helpline numbers -- 1930 (all India tollfree number) and 1944 (dedicated to Northeast)," Srivastav said.

She further said that foreign nationals, who are blacklisted will be dealt with under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Foreigners Act.

"We have initiated action against the 960 foreign nationals who are blacklisted for violating the laws and visa norms. We are taking action against them under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Foreigners Act. Their deportation will be done under standard health protocol," Srivastava said.

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