The Tablighi Jamaat-linked cases that powered the spike in Delhi’s Covid-19 count may taper off over the next few days, a top government official told Hindustan Times after a modest increase of 51 cases in the city’s total Covid-19 count on Tuesday. Tablighi Jamaat-linked cases accounted for just 9 of these 51 cases.
This is the first time in days that the increase of the Jamaat-linked cases has been in single digit, a sharp contrast from just Monday when a whopping 325 people linked to the religious congregation in central Delhi had tested positive.
A senior official said Tuesday’s case count is being interpreted to imply that Delhi was close to turning the corner vis-a-vis cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat. “Test results of only 200 more people from the Jamaat are yet to come in,” he told Hindustan Times.
The congregation at the Jamaat headquarters has been the single-largest source of the infection in Delhi, responsible for two-third of the 1,561 people being treated for the coronavirus disease. That is a total of 1,080.
In all, 2,346 people were evacuated from the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters, the Markaz, last month-end. The Markaz leadership had been reluctant to move out but complied with government instructions after National Security Adviser Ajit Doval drove down to the Markaz past midnight. A nationwide search was launched soon after to trace the thousands who had been the Markaz, and their contacts.
In Delhi, a similar search had led the authorities to over 850 more people. Like the rest of the country, they were all sent to state-run quarantine centres in the national capital.
Of all the people found in the Markaz, 536 Jamaat workers who showed symptoms of the disease had already been admitted to hospitals. As their test results started coming in, Delhi’s Covid-19 count kept rising. By 3 April, 259 of the 386 (67 percent) positive cases in Delhi were linked to the Jamaat congregation.
That trend continued for the next 10-odd days. The sharpest spike came on Monday when 325 of the 351 fresh cases were linked to the Jamaat. By then, the Nizamuddin congregation had been linked to 1,071 of the 1,510 Covid-19 cases in the capital.