Covid-19: 200 quarantined, contact tracing on after Delhi mosque gathering

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondents
Mar 30, 2020 09:38 PM IST

Police said that last week, a religious gathering of around 200 people was organised in the area without its permission when prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144 was in force across the city.

A day after six people who attended a religious gathering near Nizamuddin Dargah tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), authorities are on the lookout for others who took part in the event amid increased police presence in the area.

A Delhi Police team in Nizamuddin on Monday after several people in the area showed symptoms of coronavirus.(ANI)
A Delhi Police team in Nizamuddin on Monday after several people in the area showed symptoms of coronavirus.(ANI)

Over the past two days, the Delhi Police and the health department have taken at least 220 people from the Nizamuddin area to two separate quarantine facilities at Tughlaqabad and Lok Nayak Hospital, a police official who did not want to be named said.

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The gathering, held earlier this month, inside a mosque had many foreign nationals too, a second police official said.

People from Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Telangana and Tamil Nadu attended the gathering in the area with high population density in violation of government orders, a Delhi health department official said.

This official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, added that the six who tested positive are believed to have travelled from Andaman. They had no history of foreign travel.

“They were living with a group of people for some religious gathering,” the health official said. “Now activities are going on to trace others who might have come in contact with them.”

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Over 2,000 delegates, including from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin West from March 1-15, officials told news agency Press Trust of India. Delhi Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officials and medical teams went to the locality late on Sunday night after reports that a large number of people were showing symptoms of the disease, the officials said.

The entire area, which includes residences and the headquarters of the Tabligh-e-Jamaat, a Muslim religious organisation, was virtually cut off. Alarm bells started ringing after a man in his 60s who had attended the congregation succumbed to Covid-19 in Srinagar last week.

Earlier this month, the Delhi government banned religious, social, cultural and political gatherings of over 50 people till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

Later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown that came into effect from March 25 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“The whole city is under lockdown. Now with some cases of people showing symptoms of Covid-19 reported from Nizamuddin area, we have posted more police personnel at the market places and the lanes to ensure that people follow the lockdown. Our officers on the ground are also helping the government officers in Nizamuddin basti area,” deputy commissioner of police (south-east) RP Meena said.

Twenty-three people tested positive for Covid-19 in Delhi on Sunday, taking the total number of cases to 72, according to the health officials from the city. This was the largest jump in numbers in a single-day reported from the city.

So far, two deaths have been reported from Delhi – that of a 68-year-old woman from Janakpuri and a 62-year-old Yemeni man who was in Delhi for his son’s liver transplant.

(with PTI inputs)

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