By SM.01 Apr, 2020
NEW DELHI: With over 1,200 coronavirus cases in the country, the number of hotspots has increased, the government said today amid rising concerns over a large religious gathering in Delhi linked to seven deaths and 24 positive cases of COVID-19.
227 cases have been reported in the last 2 hours, said Health Ministry Joint Secretary Luv Agarwal, attributing the spike to the lack of people"s support and delayed detection.
"With over 1,200 cases of COVID-19, the number of hotspots in the country has increased. The government is using cluster containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in these hotspots to check the virus from further spreading," Agarwal said.
He was responding to a question about the government identifying 10 virus hotspots across the country, including the "Markaz Nizamuddin", the Delhi headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat group, where a religious gathering held earlier this month saw thousands of participants from India as well as other countries. Some returned home, but nearly 2,000 remained in the building, tightly packed in dormitories despite the critical need for social distancing to check the spread of coronavirus. They stayed even when members who travelled to other states tested positive and one man died in Srinagar.
441 have been taken to hospitals with symptoms of the virus and over 1,000 have been quarantined.
"Even when there is a single case, we consider it a hotspot," said Agarwal.
The other hotspots, where the government reportedly plans to increase testing, are Dilshad Garden in Delhi, Noida and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Kasaragod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, and Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
Bhilwara in Rajasthan has also emerged as a hotspot, accounting for 26 cases in Rajasthan. The spike was noted after doctors at a private hospital tested positive for the virus. They are feared to have infected many more.
In Mumbai, there are 97 cases, including seven deaths, and in Pune, there are 44 cases including one death. Maharashtra has around 230 coronavirus cases, the highest in the country, but Mumbai and Pune account for nearly 150.
In Meerut, a man who came back from Dubai is believed to have exposed several people to the virus; he took public transport while visiting relatives and neighbours.