Race to trace contacts of Tabligh meet continues as India cases cross 1,800 mark
As India reported new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the nationwide tally of the confirmed cases at 1,834, including 41 deaths, authorities across states have identified more than 6,000 people who attended the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the biggest coronavirus hotspot in the country. More than 5,000 of those identified to have attended the congregation have been quarantined, including in hospitals across states, while efforts are on to trace another 2,000 including in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Health Ministry officials have attributed the rise in the number of cases to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which took place in mid-March, but said that it, however, does not show a national trend. They urged people to follow guidelines during the lockdown period and avoid congregations, including religious gatherings. The Centre also asked all states and Union Territories to launch on a “war footing” the contact tracing of all participants of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, which has emerged as the coronavirus hotspot.
In the United States, the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 4,000 early Wednesday, more than double the number from three days earlier, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead as the White House projected there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the pandemic the most challenging crisis since World War II and one that will bring a recession “that probably has no parallel in the recent past.”