TS police identifies over 1,000 contacts of Nizamuddin meet attendees

Out of the 1,030, 603 people were from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits

By Author  |  Published: 31st Mar 2020  4:15 pmUpdated: 1st Apr 2020  12:45 am
Nizamuddin meet
Men wearing protective facemasks walk to board a special service bus taking them to a quarantine facility amid concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi on Tuesday

Hyderabad: Just when Telangana appeared to have put a check on the spread of coronavirus in the State through proactive measures launched by the State government, the revelation that over a 1,000 people from the State had attended the Markaz Nizamuddin congregation in New Delhi in mid-March is being seen as a set-back of sorts.

The fact that these participants, estimated at 1,030 including 603 from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits alone and the remaining spread over all Telangana districts, had not reported for testing on return, is a matter of concern for the officials concerned who are leaving no stone unturned to trace not only the participants themselves but also their secondary contacts in the subsequent days. The government, on Monday, reported that six persons who had returned from New Delhi after participating in the congregation had died of coronavirus.

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K T Rama Rao, speaking about the measures initiated by the State government to tackle coronavirus in the State said, “With the new development that came to light yesterday, about the Nizamuddin congregation, of course, we are concerned. We are doing our best in terms of identifying exactly the number of people who attended this congregation. We are also doing a 360 on all of them as well as people who came in contact with them in the last few days.”

In an interview to ANI, the Minister said the government was working “very, very seriously and very, very dilligently” in identifying the persons. “It’s a work in progress but we may not be able to share the absolute numbers with you right now, but we are working on it,” he said.

Meanwhile, the police in coordination with the Health Department launched a massive State-wide door-to-door exercise to trace all the people who had participated in the Markaz congregation as well as their secondary contacts.

Scores of participants who have been traced were being sent to isolation centres, in some cases, with their family members. Joint police-health teams went to houses based on information collected from the district Special Branch units and traced the persons. Donning masks, the teams did come across some reluctance from the people but officials convinced them about the ill-effects of the virus and the steps to be taken to prevent it from spreading to others.

According to preliminary estimates, about 80 persons from Nizamabad, 45 from Nalgonda, 38 from Warangal Urban and 30 from Adilabad districts had returned to the State after participating in the congegration.

A police official said those suffering from virus symptoms were shifted to hospitals while others were asked to be under home quarantine. He said a constant vigil would be maintained on the movement of these people. “If anyone attempts to venture out, they will be shifted to isolation wards at the hospital,” he said.

The Health Department was constantly monitoring the situation in consultation with other departments concerned to trace more people affected by the virus. “We are only extending our support to the Health Department in bringing the patients to the hospital,” the official said.

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