Policemen ask vegetable vendor to leave a market during lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus, in Prayagraj. Image used for representational purpose only.(AP)
Policemen ask vegetable vendor to leave a market during lockdown to check the spread of the coronavirus, in Prayagraj. Image used for representational purpose only.(AP)

10 Madhya Pradesh policemen contracted coronavirus from Jamaat men: IG

Covid-19 update: The 10 infected policemen include a city superintendent of police (CSP), a sub-inspector and eight constables ; five of their family members have tested positive too.
Hindustan Times, Bhopal | By Ranjan
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2020 03:18 AM IST

The 10 policemen in Madhya Pradesh who have tested positive for Covid-19 probably got the virus from Tablighi Jamaat members, who were hiding in different mosques in the state capital, Bhopal, a senior police official said. The policemen are the second group of government officials to be infected ,

Meanwhile, the number of health directorate staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 has increased to 38, according to government data. Senior health deparment officials, who, despite testing positive, insisted on being treated at home, were admitted to a hospital on Monday night. The total number of Covid-19 positive cases in Bhopal as on Tuesday evening was recorded at 83.

The 10 infected policemen include a city superintendent of police (CSP), a sub-inspector and eight constables ; five of their family members have tested positive too. Other policemen who came in contact with the infected policemen are in self-quarantine, government officials said.

Inspector general (IG) of police, Bhopal, Upendra Jain, said: “There is a 99.99% chance that our policemen contracted the virus while conducting a search to locate those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi, in various mosques (in the city).”

He said, “Police personnel of mainly two police stations in Bhopal -- Jehangirabad and Aishbagh -- were involved in the search. Many of them stay in the residential colony on TT Nagar police station premises.”

According to the officer, as many as 32 jamaats including 7 foreign jamaats were traced as staying at various places in Bhopal with each of jamaat comprising about 12 persons. As many as 12 of the jamaats took part in the event in Delhi. Of these Tablighi jamaat members, at least 20 have ested positive for Covid-19.

According to Jain, “all the police stations in Bhopal are being sanitised”. He added that roughly 1000 policemen will stay in hotels. “They will follow all the norms of social distancing while performing their duties. I hope, these measures will be effective in controlling spread of the virus in the next few days.”

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan warned Tablighi Markaz people on Tuesday night that criminal cases will be lodged against them if they don’t disclose their whereabouts.

Chouhan in his tweet posted on Tuesday night said, “All residents of Madhya Pradesh who went to Nizamuddin Markaz and those from foreign countries hiding in mosques have been identified and quarantined. But even after this if someone is hiding somewhere my request to him is to share information about him with the administration in 24 hours.”

He warned, “If it is not done then administration will take necessary legal action by lodging criminal cases against them for jeopardising security of the state.”

Meanwhile, five people who allegedly attacked a police team in Talaiya police station area of Bhopal on Monday night were arrested and booked under National Security Act (NSA) too on Tuesday, according to Talaiya police station.Those arrested are: Shahid alias Kabootar, Nafees Qureshi, Shahrukh Khan, Mohd Javed and Mohd Mohsin Khan.

Earlier, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted on Tuesday,” Lesson needs to be taught to those who indulges in anarchism. These goondas will be booked under NSA.”

In a late night action on Monday, the police shifted three senior state government officials including the principal secretary and the additional director of the health department to hospitals following an intervention by the CM, government officials said. These officers were insisting on being treated at home.

The officials argued that since they didn’t have any symptoms of Covid-19 despite having tested positive, as per World Health Organisation (WHO)’s advisory they should be treated in their homes only while under quarantine.

In a written statement on Tuesday night Commissioner, health services Faiz Ahmad Kidwai said, “An inquiry is being conducted to find out reasons behind a large number of Health directorate officials and employees having been infected with Covid-19. The district administration has been instructed to look into the contact history of affected persons and inquire into the order in which they have been affected. Tracing is necessary to know who met whom and from where it all started. After the inquiry responsibility will be fixed on persons concerned and necessary action will be taken.”

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