Even as the country enters its eleventh day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, COVID-19 cases soared dramatically, largely due to the diagnosis of hundreds of patients who attended the congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat despite government orders and a looming pandemic.
Saturday recorded the highest jump in the novel coronavirus cases-- from 2,520 on Thursday to 3,066 on Friday. Just as things were looking positive for India, a big new explosion came in the form of a Muslim missionary group, in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month. The irresponsible gathering of thousands of members has pushed the country deeper in the laps of peril.
Before the outbreak in Nizamuddin, the spike in cases had mellowed and a few commentators had even suggested that India may see an end to this sooner than other countries.
So far, close to 650 people among the thousands who gathered at the Jamaat’s headquarters, Nizamuddin Markaz, have tested positive in 14 states in the last two days, the health ministry said. Testing the group is proving to be a big task for health officials given their rowdy behaviour. The group pelted stones at doctors and spat in hospital wards. The men were also roaming without pants, making obscene signs at nurses and listening to vulgar songs.
On Friday, the national death toll climbed to 62. 162 patients are said to have recovered so far.
Amid the ongoing lockdown, on Friday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked all Indians to display their collective resolution against the ongoing battle with the deadly COVID-19 that has gripped the nation by switching off all lights on April 5 at 9 pm and lighting a candle, diya or flashlight for 9 minutes.