The toll included three deaths in Maharashtra, two each in Delhi and Telangana, and one each in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Gujarat.
At 502, the number of confirmed cases on Friday was only a shade lower than the previous day’s figure of 544, which is the highest single-day count so far. At least 280 of the day’s confirmed cases being those of Tablighi Jamaat delegates who attended the Nizamuddin congregation or their contacts.
Health ministry officials said at least 647 of Covid-19 cases in the last two days reported from 14 states and Union territories are linked to the Jamaat meet and indicated that the event lent a major blow to the gains made from lockdown and social distancing measures.
“If we see the rise in cases in the last few days, it has primarily been due to an increase at a particular level,” health ministry joint secretary Lav Agarwal said in an apparent reference to the TJ congregation. “We are dealing with infectious disease management and one slip or failure to comply with the rules takes us back and all our efforts are wasted,” he added.
The positive cases linked to Jamaat were reported from Delhi, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, UP, Andaman and Nicobar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.
The highest number of cases on Friday was reported from Tamil Nadu – 102. As many as 100 of these are linked to the Nizamuddin congregation. Of the total 80 cases reported by Telangana (five of them were reported late Thursday night), 78 were linked to TJ while 42 of UP’s 48 cases were linked to the Nizamuddin meet.
Delhi reported 93 cases, though 52 of these included Jamaat delegates admitted at Jhajjar which TOI had reported a day earlier.
Telangana reported 80 cases in the last 24 hours – its highest single day tally since the outbreak of the disease. With two deaths reported on Friday, the toll in the state has gone up to 11. However, with 25 deaths and 490 confirmed cases, Maharashtra continues to top the chart.
The southern states and Delhi are the worst affected by the Jamaat meet. While 116 of the total 229 cases in Telangana are linked to the event, in the neighbouring Telugu state of Andhra Pradesh, 140 of the total 161 cases are linked to the congregation. In Tamil Nadu, of the total 411 cases, 364 are linked to the Tablighi meet.