Of the 14,378 coronavirus infections reported in the country till Saturday morning, 4,291 cases in 23 states and Union Territories are linked to the Markaz event held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area in March, the Union health ministry said.
By Saturday evening, the death toll due to coronavirus infection rose to 488, while the number of cases climbed to 14,792, according to data provided by the Centre.
At a daily media briefing about the COVID-19 situation in the country, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said most of the Markaz event-related cases have been found in states with high burden of the disease, such as Tamil Nadu (84 per cent), Telengana (79 per cent), Delhi (63 per cent), Uttar Pradesh (59 per cent) and Andhra Pradesh (61 per cent).
“A total of 4,291 COVID-19 cases or 29.8 per cent of the 14,378 coronavirus infections reported till Saturday morning are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation,” he said.
The health ministry official also said in some states which have reported fewer COVID-19 infections, also had cases with links to the Markaz event.
The only coronavirus case reported in Arunachal Pradesh till now is related to the Markaz event. Similarly, 32 of the 35 cases reported in Assam and 10 out of 12 cases from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are linked to the same congregation, he said.
“The reason I drew your attention to this event is to highlight that even if one person does not follow the guidelines of social distancing and lockdown, the entire country has to suffer the consequences,” Mr Agarwal said.
The mortality rate in COVID-19 cases in India has been around 3.3 per cent, he said, adding 14.4 per cent of the deaths are between 0-45 years, 10.3 per cent between 45- 60 years, 33.1 per cent between 60-75 years and 42.2 per cent fatalities among people aged 75 and above.
“We see that 75.3 per cent deaths have been among those aged 60 or above and in 83 per cent cases there were co-morbidities,” Mr Agarwal said and reiterated the elderly and those with co-morbid conditions are at high risk.
About containment strategies implemented along with the lockdown, Mr Agarwal said field-level actions are fetching positive results in several places.
“A positive trend has been noted in 47 districts of 23 states and UTs. Kodaggu in Karnataka is a new district added to this list along with Mahe in Puducherry that has not reported any fresh cases during the last 28 days,” the official said.