New Delhi: A Keralite who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi has died of fever the other day. The deceased is identified as Dr Salim, who is also a former professor at Pathanamthitta Catholicate College.
Dr Salim was one of the three persons from Pathanamthitta who participated in the religious congregation held on March 18. Before reaching Nizamuddin, Salim had visited Saudi Arabia. He flew directly to Delhi to participate in the congregation.
As the dead body could not be brought to his native place, it was buried in a mosque in Delhi. Salim was already suffering from heart disease. His son-in-law and a friend are the other two people who attended the congregation. Both are under observation in Nizamuddin.
The religious congregation of 2000 people at a mosque in Delhi's Nizamuddin area which has thrown up several corona positive cases is a ticking time bomb as six of the persons have died from the virus and positive cases are emerging from at least five regions including J&K, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The Telangana Chief Minister's Office said in a tweet, "Six people from Telangana who attended a religious congregation at Markaz in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi from March 13-15 succumbed after they contracted coronavirus. Two died in Gandhi Hospital while one each died in Apollo Hospital, Global Hospital, Nizamabad and Gadwal."
The state has intensified its efforts to locate all those who returned from the event and the contact trail.
The suspected outbreak was discovered earlier today in Delhi as it emerged that several hid their travel history to foreign countries and a large congregation was held on March 13-5 at a markaz in Nizamuddin. The area was sealed today and hundreds of those present were whisked away to hospitals.
The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium which otherwise holds sporting events is being prepared for a possible large size quarantine centre in case there is a huge outbreak of the virus. Reports are emerging that COVID-19 cases linked to this gathering are being across the country in J&K, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar and Telangana.
As many as 1,400 people continued to stay at the Tabligh-e-Jamaat's "Markaz" in Delhi's Nizamuddin West even after the event.
The Telangana Chief Medical Officer confirmed that six people who attended this congregation have died in Telangana after testing positive for coronavirus. A cleric who was there had died after testing positive for coronavirus in Srinagar last week.
More than 2,000 delegates, including from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, attended the congregation of Tablighi Jamaat - a Muslim religious organisation - from March 13 to 15.
So now, after the congregation dispersed, those who had gathered have gone in different directions and six have died in Telangana.
This constitutes a mammoth health risk for those present and others who may have come in contact or are even now coming into contact through transit.
Sooner or later, it is feared this may be a form of community transmission as infected people move in different directions. This is so symptomatic of the virus spread where even once infected person can pass it onto hundreds of others.
Jammu and Kashmir where many of these people returned is already on alert. The district administration in all ten districts have fanned out teams to trace those who might not have disclosed their travel history or contact history with Tabligi Jamaat.
Another worrying strand that has emerged is that the list of those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin from Jammu & Kashmir is huge. Clearly, many of them are not in quarantine yet and the administration and police are making efforts to identity, trace and isolate.
It is learnt that the government has prepared a 50 page list of people from J&K who attended the congregation or came in contact with those. Efforts are being made to identify these people and isolate them.
District magistrates in different districts of Kashmir have issued a strong warning today evening to those who have entered the Valley after March 1 and have not so far revealed their travel history to the authorities.
The order issued today evening by the various district magistrates said all those who entered the Valley after March 1 with travel history abroad, outside the Valley or association with members of the Tabligi group are given the last chance to report to the authorities within two days failing which they could face imprisonment under the provisions of the disaster management act, 2005.
(With inputs from IANS)