Nizamuddin Meet: Over 1,500 From Telangana & Andhra Being Traced
Authorities in the two states launch an intensive drive to identify and quarantine all who attended the meet.
Rattled by the death of six people due to the coronavirus disease, authorities in Telangana launched an intensive drive on Tuesday, 31 March, to identify and quarantine all those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in New Delhi in early March.
Meanwhile, in a sudden spike in Andhra Pradesh, 17 persons were tested positive since Monday, 30 March, night. A majority of them had also attended the meeting in Delhi. With this the number of total cases in the state rose to 40.
“This year, there were around 1,500 to 2,000 Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the convocation in Delhi from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. About 25 to 30 members attended from each district,” a press release from the Tablighi Jamaat states. Most of the attendees left Delhi on 17 March and reached their respective native places by 18 March, the release added.
As more than 10 days have passed since the return of the participants from the religious programme, authorities in both states face an uphill task of identifying all those who came in contact with them.
In Telangana, the medical and health department have alerted all districts to trace the people who returned from Delhi and their contacts.
The department has asked all those who attended the meeting at Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area to inform the concerned officials. The government assured that it would conduct tests and offer treatment to them free of cost.
The department also said that anyone who has information about the participants in the meeting should alert the government.
The number of participants from Telangana could be several hundreds. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had told a news conference on Sunday, 29 March, that in Kothagudem alone, 200 to 300 people who had visited Delhi were identified and kept in isolation. At that conference, he also shared that 11 people had recovered and would be discharged.
KCR had hoped that by 7 April nearly 26,000 people under surveillance would complete their quarantine period and if no new cases were reported the state would be free from coronavirus. However, within a day the situation changed dramatically. Less than 24 hours later, the state announced the death of six persons.
Of the six, four were reported from Hyderabad. Two of them died at Gandhi Hospital, where the majority of COVID-19 patients are under treatment. A man died at Apollo Hospital. One death each was reported from Nizamabad and Gadwal.
The department has not yet come out with details like whether they had already tested positive or this came to light after their death.
The Andhra Pradesh government has also begun acting swiftly and has identified 899 people who returned from the event. Out of this around 140 are yet to be traced. The most number of attendees in the state were from Prakasam district, in the areas around Chirala, Ongole, and Nawabpet.
Speaking to The News Minute, S Rajiv Krishna, advisor to the Andhra Pradesh Government, said, “We have deployed three special teams. The entire district administration is focusing on this. By the end of the day (Tuesday), we should have a clear picture”.
The state government has also urged those who attended the event to come forward and get tested.
“It is the responsibility of the individuals also to inform authorities if they have attended the event. They should come forward. We will assure them that there will be no stigma and we will get their tests and other medical treatment done for free”, Rajiv Krishna added.
A helpline number 1092 can also be contacted by citizens, who have information on anyone who had attended the event.
In a related development, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has also formed seven state-level coordination teams with bureaucrats and police officers to ensure that the lockdown is implemented successfully.
As per a medical bulletin released by the state government on Tuesday morning, Prakasam district has reported eleven cases, followed by Guntur at nine, Visakhapatnam at six, Krishna at five, and East Godavari at four. Anantapur has reported two cases, while Chittoor, Kurnool and Nellore have reported one case each. One patient in Visakhapatnam and one in Nellore have recovered.
(The story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)
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