BENGALURU: With Telangana and Jammu and Kashmir witnessing the deaths of seven people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat (religious congregation) in New Delhi’s Nizammudin, due to COVID-19, Karnataka has stepped up its efforts to track those from the state who took part in the event. On Tuesday evening, Health Minister B Sriramulu said at least 54 people from Karnataka had travelled to Delhi to take part in the congregation that was held in the second week of March. By Tuesday night, the number had increased to 79.
“The numbers are set to rise as more and more people who attended the congregation contact the government. We have appealed to such people to reach out to us,” said Pankaj Pandey, Commissioner for Health and Family welfare.
“From Bidar alone, 26 people went to Delhi to take part in the congregation. All of them have been quarantined. The process of tracing and quarantining the others is under way,” Sriramulu said.
Earlier in the day, the minister said that so far, 13 people who were part of the event have tested negative for COVID-19. Also, at least 10 people from Belagavi, who attended the event, have been quarantined for the last 14 days and none of them have showed any symptoms, according to DC Dr S B Bommanahalli.
So far, the government has identified only the Sira man, who took part in the event and is among the state’s thee casualties, as the lone positive case.
The rising numbers also include foreign nationals who were accommodated in various districts in Karnataka. “At least 50 foreign nationals came to Karnataka and took accommodation in various districts including Bengaluru. Of them, 10 from Malaysia, 19 from Kyrgyzstan, 20 from Indonesia, four from South Africa, three from Gambia and one each from the UK, France and Kenya have been traced so far,” said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
As of Tuesday, the state police have identified and quarantined 50 foreign nationals. Besides, measures have been taken to identify and quarantine around 300 others who took part in the markaz, a release from the state DG&IGP’s office said.
“Not just the people who were part of the event, even their primary and secondary contacts are being traced. All will be kept in isolation,” said Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar.
Heath and Family Welfare Department Additional Chief Secretary Jawaid Akhtar said the state has quarantined 78 people in connection with the Delhi congregration but the authorities are not sure if these people attended the religious event physically.
“The event has been determined as a source of spread for Coronavirus and was held between March 8 and March 20. We are not sure if they all attended the event, but they met frequently and were associated with the congregation. They were quarantined 2-3 days ago. We appeal that others who attended the congregation must intimate the government on 080-29711171,” Akhtar said, adding that they are locating those who have reported themselves.