As many as 24 people from a group of people who attended a religious congregation in Nizamuddin have tested positive for COVID-19.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30 ordered an FIR against a maulana for leading a congregation in Nizamuddin West in South Delhi after several people who attended it showed symptoms of coronavirus, sources said.
The Delhi government will also launch a house-to-house mapping exercise in two nearby colonies on March 31 to check for coronavirus cases.
Over 2,000 delegates, including from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin West from March 13 to 15.
Six people from Telangana who attended the religious prayer meeting have reportedly died due to coronavirus while the virus has spread among several others.
Two of the six died at the Gandhi Hospital, one each in two private hospitals, and one each in Nizamabad and Gadwal towns, without mentioning the time of their deaths.
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As many as 24 people, who took part in the religious congregation, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on March 31.
Talking to reporters at his residence, he said that 1,033 people have been shifted to various places.
The minister said, "700 people who attended this congregation have been quarantined while around 335 people have been admitted to hospitals."
Jain said the screening of all those who participated in the event is being conducted by the government.
Police and paramilitary personnel cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin West in south Delhi on March 30.
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What has the Delhi government done?
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30 ordered the registration of an FIR against a maulana for leading a congregation in Nizamuddin West after the incident.
Sources said that the government will also conduct door-to-door in two nearby colonies.
On March 31, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government issued a statement on the Nizamuddin case. “It looks like social distancing and quarantine protocols were not practiced here.”
The government said that it had come to its knowledge that the administrators violated these conditions and several cases of corona positive patients have been found here.
By this “gross act of negligence” many lives have been endangered, said the statement.
“It was the responsibility of every citizen to proactively avoid such gathering of people during the lockdown and this is nothing but a criminal act,” read an early statement.
What is the situation now?
Nizamuddin West residents on March 30 said they were worried after the incident and a major part of the area was cordoned off by authorities to contain any possible spread.
Delhi Police, CRPF officials and medical teams went to the locality late on Sunday night after reports said a large number of people were showing symptoms for the disease. The south Delhi neighbourhood has been virtually sealed over fears that some people may have contracted the virus.
Congress leader and former area Municipal Councillor Farhad Suri said it was a "lapse" and now all efforts should be made fight the outbreak.
"As far as I know most of the foreign delegates came from Malaysia and Indonesia where cases of coronavirus infection have been found. The establishment should have stopped them when they landed in India. Many other people came back to India even after the lockdown was declared. So it's not the time to point fingers but work together to prevent the spread of the virus," Suri said.
Andul Bari, a local, said people were concerned over the reports.
"The area has been cordoned off. I have not been able to go out. Locals are concerned," he said.
Councillor of Daryaganj ward under which the area falls, Yasmin Kidwai blamed the government.
"This was a ticking bomb waiting to explode. The government is to be blamed for letting people come in from different countries when the threat of coronavirus has been looming on India and it had started spreading."
Kidwai said she is making efforts for repeated sanitisation of the area.
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Meanwhile, the Telangana government has asked those who participated in the prayers to inform the authorities. It will conduct tests and offer treatment to them free of cost, according to the release. The government also requested the people to alert if they come to know about those who participated in the prayers.
The special teams under the collectors have identified persons who came in contact with the deceased and they are shifted to the hospitals, said the TRS government.(With inputs from PTI)