Fri, 29 May 2020

New Delhi [India], April 6 (ANI): Over 25,000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their contacts have been quarantined across the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Monday.

"States government are actively enforcing lockdown. The condition of essential goods is satisfactory. The Home Ministry along with State governments have quarantined over 25,000 Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) workers and their contacts. Five Haryana villages, where foreign nationals associated with TJ visited have been sealed," Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, MHA, said at a press conference here.

She said that 2,083 foreign Tablighi Jamaat workers have been identified and 1,750 of them have been blacklisted. Srivastava said that the state governments emphasising medical oxygen.

"Medical oxygen is a critical item in the view of COVID-19. It is listed in the list of the essential items and its production and supply chain is exempted from lockdown. The Home Secretary has written to State governments emphasising medical oxygen and asked them to ensure social distancing and hygiene during its supply chain," he said.

The Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi has emerged as a hotspot for COVID-19 after hundreds of positive cases across India were linked to the gathering, including deaths in Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana.

Srivastava said that the Home Secretary has written to state governments emphasising the importance of medical oxygen.

"Medical oxygen is a critical item in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is has been put on the essential items list and its production and supply chain is exempted from lockdown. The Home Secretary has written to the States stressing on medical oxygen and asked them to ensure social distancing and hygiene during its supply chain," he said.

Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lal Aggarwal said that 1,445 cases out of a total of 4,067 cases are related to Tablighi Jamaat gathering.

"693 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number to 4,067 in India out of which 1,445 cases are related to Tablighi Jamaat," Aggarwal said.

He said that the government has allowed the use of Hydroxychloroquine for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients or high-risk contacts of the patients.

"We have allowed the use of Hydroxychloroquine for healthcare workers dealing with COVID-19 patients or high-risk contacts of the patients though there is limited evidence of its efficacy. There is not sufficient evidence to use it at the community level," Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal said that 16.94 lakh metric tonnes of food grains have been transported across India till now during the lockdown.

"In 13 states, 1.3 lakh metric tonnes of wheat and in 8 states, 1.32 lakh metric tonnes of rice have been allotted," he said.

The Ministry of Health and Family earlier informed that the total number of COVID-19 positive cases in India climbed to 4067 including 292 cured/discharged and 109 deaths. (ANI)

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