People queue while maintaining distance during a food distribution at Govt Boys Sr. Sec School No. 4, on day twelve of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, in Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi.(Arvind Yadav/HT PHOTO)
India’s doubling rate of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) stands at 4.1 days, Lav Agarwal, the joint secretary of the Union health ministry, said on Sunday, explaining in how many days the number of infections gets doubled in the country.
If the cases reported due to a religious gathering in New Delhi in March had not taken place, the doubling rate would have been at 7.4 days, he said, referring to the congregation of the members of the Islamic missionary group Tablighi Jamaat in the national capital.
The headquarters of the Jamaat, or the Markaz, in Nizamuddin area, where the gathering took place last month, has emerged as a hot spot of Covid-19 infections in India. About one-third of the total cases in the country have been linked to the gathering. Authorities across states have launched a complex exercise to trace those who visited the Markaz and then fanned out across the country.
“If it were not for the congregation, India’s rate of doubling— that is in how many days the cases have doubled — would have been at 7.4 days,” Agarwal said.
The total coronavirus cases in India stand at 3,374 and the death toll has reached 79, Agarwal said, adding that 472 new Covid-19 cases and 11 deaths have been reported since Saturday. He said 267 people have recovered.
But a PTI tally of figures reported by states showed at least 106 deaths and 3,624 cases. Of this total, 284 have been cured and discharged, according to the news agency.
He said all states have been asked to put in place a district-specific containment strategy in place based on the detailed large outbreak containment plan issued by the health ministry on Saturday.
“Surveillance and contact-tracing has been our main focus, and we will continue to put emphasis on that,” said Agarwal.