Coronavirus spread: 6 Telangana deaths linked to prayer meet in Nizamuddin

New Delhi: A volunteer sprays disinfectant on paramilitary personnel as they cordon off an area in Nizamuddin, where several people showed symptoms of infection from coronavirus after taking part in a religious gathering a few days ago, during the na
Hours after the government assured the country has not entered the community transmission stage of Covid-19 yet, alarming news came from Telangana on Monday. The state government late in the day admitted that six persons, who attended a religious prayer meeting from March 13 to March 15 at Markaz in Delhi’s West Nizamuddin, have died at different hospitals in the state.

Police and paramilitary personnel have cordoned off the area near Markaz and evacuated hundreds of people suspected to have contracted coronavirus. They are being kept at the nearby JLN Stadium, which has now been turned into a quarantine facility.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered the registration of an FIR against a maulana for leading the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation. The UP Police, too, have ordered identification and isolation of  people from the state who had attended the prayer meeting.

According to media reports, the death of 65-year-old man in Srinagar was, too, linked to this event. Also, six persons tested positive in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and one in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur had attended the congregation.

Coronavirus has spread among some of those who attended a religious prayer meeting from March 13 to March 15 at Markaz in Nizamuddin area in Delhi. Among those who attended were people from Telangana. Of them, six died — two at Gandhi Hospital, one each at Apollo and Global Hospitals, and two at Nizamabad  and Gadwal,” the state government stated. The government earlier in the day had reported one death and six new cases.

Special teams have identified people who came in contact with the deceased and are being shifted to hospitals, according to the Telangana government statement.

According to a PTI report, over 2,000 delegates, including many from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended the congregation held between March 1 and March 15, officials said.

It is feared that many of those infected during the religious event caused the transmission of the virus in different parts of the country. The Union home and health ministries ducked specific questions during a press conference, saying that standard protocols were being followed in the matter.

The Delhi Police said the organisers were told not to organise the event in light of the pandemic, but they proceeded with the event.

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