Covid-19: 2,000 people from Telangana, Andhra attended Nizamuddin event
At least 25-30 members from each district in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh attended the congregation held once in two years at Hazrat Nizamuddin.Updated: Mar 31, 2020 20:50 IST
Amid Delhi emerging as a coronavirus hotspot, officials in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh estimate that around 2,000 members of the Tablighi Jamaat from the two states attended the Mashoora (convention) between March 15 and 17at its headquarters in the national capital’s Nizamuddin area.
An official note from the Andhra Pradesh government said at least 25-30 members from each district in both the Telugu speaking states attended the congregation held once in two years at Hazrat Nizamuddin.
The AP government has so far identified around 800 people who attended the Jamaat congregation, while the Telangana government has identified 1,030 people in a massive contact tracing exercise.
“Officials are gathering information from the event organizers, police, railway department as they have travelled in trains, and from various other sources and tracking down everyone,” said an official statement from AP chief minister’s office on Tuesday evening.
According to an official bulletin issued by the Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday, as many as 17 new positive cases of Covid-19 have been detected since Monday night. Out of these 17 new cases, 14 are related to the Tablighi Jamaat meeting held in Delhi – 11 of them had attended the meeting and three are their relatives.
Chief minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy appealed to the travellers from Nizamuddin and their contact persons to voluntarily come forward for treatment. He instructed health department and police department to coordinate and identify the fellow travellers, test them, and shift them to quarantine centres in case of any symptoms.
Mohammad Irfan, a professor in electronics in Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Nuzvid in Krishna district, who attended the Nizamuddin conference said no one at the congregation showed signs of infection.
“There were no symptoms of anybody suffering from Covid-19 at the meeting. We returned safely on March 18. Later, I was put in quarantine at Nellore government hospital along with a few others. So far, none of us has developed any symptoms for Covid-19 and we are safe. We are being taken care of by the doctors and government officials well. There is no need to create unnecessary panic about the Delhi meeting,” Irfan said on phone.
Mohd Akbar, a tent house owner from Vijayawada, said he, too, had returned safely from the Delhi convention without any symptoms. “May be a small number of people might have tested positive for Coronavirus, but I can say 95 per cent of those who returned from there are safe. As per the government instructions, I am maintaining home quarantine since my return,” Akbar said.
Both Irfan and Akbar were put under a 14-day quarantine.
“From the Telugu states, the programme was supervised by Ikram Ali, leader of Tablighi Jamaat in Mallepalli in Hyderabad, who took care of their accommodation and food,” the Andhra government’s official note said.
Efforts to reach out to Ikram Ali for comment drew a blank as his phone was switched off.
In Telangana, out of 1030 people who were identified to have attended the Jamaat conference, 603 were from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits.
“We conducted a joint operation in coordination with the Health department since Monday night and started tracing the people who came in contact with those who attended the congregation.
Six people from Telangana who attended the same congregation died of Covid-19. Apart from Greater Hyderabad, the other districts that recorded high number of travellers to Delhi include 80 from Nizamabad, 45 from Nalgonda, 38 from Warangal Urban and 30 from Adilabad.
Meanwhile, the Telangana police said they are on the lookout for those who came in contact with the six who died of Covid-19 after returning from Delhi.
Director-General of Police M Mahender Reddy, who held a tele-conference with officials late on Monday, directed that all the district officials immediately trace the people who came in contact with the six persons and keep them under quarantine.