GUWAHATI: Four more people - all of whom attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi - tested positive for COVID-19 in Assam even as four others from the state, who too had attended the same programme, tested positive in Delhi.
Maulana Jamal Uddin (52) from Badarpur in Assam’s Barak Valley was the first to test positive. He had also attended the Delhi programme. He is a cancer patient and his son had earlier said he (Jamal Uddin) visited Delhi for treatment. However, Assam’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the person had attended the Delhi event for four straight days from March 6.
Sarma disclosed the names of all nine patients so that people, who came in contact with them in recent days, could get themselves tested.
“Four persons from Assam, who had attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz, tested positive. Their samples were tested at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. However, to reconfirm, we have sent the samples to NIV, Pune,” Sarma told journalists at a press conference in Guwahati on Wednesday.
He said the persons were Arshad Ali (19) from Nalbari district, Hazrat Ali (60), Nur Uddin (55) and Jonab Ali (46), all of them from Jagiroad in Morigaon district.
Sarma said 456 people from the state had attended the Delhi programme while 91 others had contacted helpline numbers. There are 134 others who had passed by the Delhi area those days.
“These 134 people are not being suspected prima facie. There are 68 people who haven’t returned to the state. Of the remaining 345 people, we have identified 230 people. The blood samples of 196 of them have been distributed to various hospitals and they were being processed. The phones of remaining 115 others were found to be switched off or we didn’t get the kind of support, we expected, from their families,” Sarma said.
He said the four others from the state, who tested positive during medical examinations in Delhi, were Naskar Ali (72), Fahar Uddin (48), both from Baksa district; Mustafa Ahmed (60) from Barpeta district and Mohammad Ali (65) from Nagaon district.
He said given the indications, the number of positive cases is set to rise in the state. Some other cases were found to be positive during screening at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital but the minister said a formal announcement would be made on the cases as and when the final results would be available.
He said two of three people from Jagiroad, who tested positive on Wednesday, had come to Guwahati and moved around the city to sell poultry.
“Assam is in a critical stage. I appeal to people to buy essential items only from people they know. We have to strictly follow the guidelines of lockdown,” he said.
Dozens of people from Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh attended the Delhi religious congregation. The state governments were making efforts to identify the people.