NEW DELHI, April 3 - As many as 647 COVID-19 positive cases found in 14 States in the last two days are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union health ministry said on Friday. Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal also said in a daily media briefing that out of the 12 deaths reported in the last 24 hours some are related to the congregation, which took place early last month in the National Capital�s West Nizamuddin area.
So far there have been 2,547 cases of COVID-19 in India and 62 deaths out of which 12 were reported since Thursday, he said, adding that there has been a rise of 336 coronavirus cases since Thursday.
Agarwal said till now 163 patients have recovered.
The Joint Secretary said that �647 positive cases of the coronavirus have been found in the last two days that are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, and these were reported from 14 States (and Union Territories) � Andaman and Nicobar, Delhi, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh�.
�If we see the rise in cases in the last few days, it has primarily been due to an increase at a particular level,� Agarwal said in an apparent reference to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
He said because of the �lockdown and our efforts to promote social distancing, cases were being reported but there was no sharp rise�.
People need to understand that coronavirus is an infectious disease and all efforts towards containment of the spread of the disease may go to waste because of even one failure, Agarwal said.
Over the government taking a decision to conduct rapid antibody tests for COVID-19 in hotspots of the country or areas which have reported a larger number of coronavirus cases, an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official said the guidelines for the same are likely to be issued tomorrow. � PTI