Come out of your hideouts, get tested, Assam government tells Tablighi attendees

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed to the Tablighi Jamaat district representatives for the last time to give us their lists of the Tablighi event attendees from Assam.

Published: 04th April 2020 07:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2020 07:11 PM   |  A+A-

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI:  The Assam government on Saturday made an appeal to the elusive attendees of Delhi’s Tablighi Markaz congregation to come out of their hideouts and get tested.

The state’s Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the list of the Tablighi attendees from the state was getting bigger day by day.

“The Nizamuddin episode is an evolving story and we haven’t been able to finish it. We appeal to the Tablighi Jamaat district representatives for the last time to give us their lists (of the attendees). They have not extended the kind of support to the government they should have,” Sarma said.

He said he had requested all district magistrates and superintendents of police to talk to the Jamaat leaders and find out exactly how many people attended the congregation. He expressed concerns that more COVID-19 positive cases were emerging across Assam.

“We had sent the samples of 812 people, linked to Nizamuddin congregation and their family members, for lab tests. Twenty four cases were found to be positive and 636 negative. The results of 152 samples were awaited. The persons, who tested negative, are being quarantined and will be tested again after 14 days,” the Minister said.

Of the 25 people who tested positive in Assam, only one has no Nizamuddin link. The man returned to Guwahati from Delhi on March 1 and came into contact with at least 111 people. All of them are being quarantined.

The apartment - Spanish Garden - where the man lives, will be a containment zone, Sarma said. He felt Tibrewal was infected by one among the many people he had met in the state.

“For one person, we had to collect the samples of 111 people. People mingle with others more in villages compared to cities. If 812 people went to Nizamuddin, imagine how many samples we have to collect and test,” the minister said.

Two days ago, he had said that the government could not reach 15 people who attended the Nizamuddin congregation. He rubbished allegations that people, being treated and quarantined, were not fed well. “We are giving better food than what people eat (at home in the lockdown).” The quarantined persons are also being given phones so that they could talk to their family members, Sarma added.

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