Amid the rising number of confirmed coronavirus cases, the central government has identified 10 ‘hotspots’ that have triggered a higher tide of viral infection. According to the report, these hotspots are Dilshad Garden and Nizamuddin in Delhi, Noida and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Kasargod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala, along with Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra.
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Identification of these hotspots will help the government ramp up the testing process for the novel coronavirus.
Delhi’s Nizamuddin has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot after a huge religious gathering held earlier in March. Infections spread when about 2,000 Muslim devotees, including some visiting from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended a gathering at the Tabligh-e-Jamaat’s Markaz. Some 441 people from the center are being tested for COVID-19 and 1,107 others have been placed under quarantine while 24 people have died.
Apart from this, fears have mounted that thousands present in the religious congregation could have carried the infection across the country as thousands of participants of the religious gathering are known to have returned to their homes. Many states have reported COVID-19 cases linked to this congregation. Six people who had attended the Delhi gathering died in Telangana after contracting the infection while another 13 people have also tested positive in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
India has so far reported 1,649 coronavirus infections, including 38 deaths. The Union Health Ministry blamed that the number of hotspots has risen due to the “lack of people’s support and delay in timely detection” of the cases. India has recorded 740 of COVID-19 cases in the last three days (since March 28). This accounts for almost 45 percent of the total cases recorded in the country since January 30. Kerala and Maharashtra are the worst affected stated with maximum cases.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said that the government is using cluster containment strategies and doing rigorous contact tracing in these hotspots to check the virus from further spreading.
India enforced a nationwide lockdown on March 24 to try and contain the rising infections but reports have continued to emerge of people violating lockdown instructions. The sudden closures have also triggered a mass exodus of poor migrant workers leaving cities to head to their villages as work and money dried up for them as cities began shutting down all but essential services.