Fears of super-spreaders as 160 yet to be traced in Telangana

A large number of persons who participated in the religious congregation in New Delhi are testing positive across different States, and there is every possibility that many of those 160 could be Covid-19 positive.

By   |  Published: 3rd Apr 2020  12:06 amUpdated: 3rd Apr 2020  12:54 am
Police personnel wearing coronavirus-themed helmets ride on horses and bikes as they participate in a awareness campaign during a 21-day government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Tracking the locations of about 160-odd persons who had participated in a religious meet in New Delhi and are yet to be traced has now become a huge priority for health officials, as the attendees could hold the key to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus within the community in Telangana.

A large number of persons who participated in the religious congregation in New Delhi are testing positive across different States, and there is every possibility that many of those 160 could be Covid-19 positive. Quite unwittingly, they might become super-spreaders, infecting others without even their knowledge, officials say.

“All the 1,000-odd persons from Telangana who participated in the Delhi meeting and their close relatives must be identified. Missing people have the potential to become super-spreaders, who without their knowledge might be spreading the infection. That’s why we are urging such people to self-report and get tested for free,” said senior officials from the Public Health wing here.

Who are super-spreaders?

There have been recent experiences in Italy, the United States and other European countries wherein a solitary person, who does not have any idea that he or she is infected, carries on with his or her regular lifestyle. In the process, they infect a large number of people and end up wreaking the epidemic response of local governments.

Westport Soiree/Singapore conference

A noted example in the United States of such super-spreaders is the Westport Soiree, a birthday party comprising 50 upscale guests in Westport town of Connecticut. The attendees got infected and flew to many countries and States, including South Africa and New York, and ended up spreading the virus across the US and continents.

A sales conference in Singapore, a favourite destination for corporations to hold their annual review meetings, ended up spreading the infection to different countries. A UK businessman who participated in the conference came in contact with a Chinese businessman from Wuhan and passed on the coronavirus infection to at least 11 other UK citizens living in three different countries.

Instances in India

In New Delhi, a doctor employed in a Mohalla Clinic tested positive after attending to a coronavirus patient in Saudi Arabia. After the doctor tested positive for Covid-19, local health officials had to identify and isolate nearly 900 persons who came in contact with the doctor.

Against this backdrop, the State authorities have doubled their efforts to track all people who participated in the religious meet in New Delhi.


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