With as many as 386 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry on Wednesday said the spike was “not a national trend” and was primarily due to travel by those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.
Addressing the daily press briefing, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said till now there are 1,637 COVID-19 cases in the country out of which 386 new positive cases were reported in the last 24 hours.
He, however, stressed that the rise in positive cases “is not a national trend”.
“One of the main reasons for the rise in positive cases is the travel by members of Tablighi Jamat,” Agarwal said.
All states which have reported positive cases of the disease have been notified and asked to carry out intensive drives of rigorous contact tracing and testing and also sending those with symptoms to quarantine facilities or hospitals, he said.
Giving details about the necessary arrangements being made by the government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Agarwal informed reporters that the railways is preparing to set up 3.2 lakh isolation beds by modifying 20,000 train coaches. Modification of 5,000 coaches for the purpose has already begun, he said.
‘Lifeline’ flights have also been started to transport testing kits, medicines, masks and other essentials, Agarwal said.
Speaking at the same press conference, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) senior scientist R Ganga Ketkar said 47,951 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in the country till date.
There are 126 labs in the ICMR network and 51 private labs have been given approval to conduct tests for coronavirus.