CHENNAI: The number of Tablighi Jamaat meet attendees testing positive for coronavirus continued to rise in the southern states with Tamil Nadu alone reporting 42 more new cases on Wednesday.
As many as 679 of the total 738 positive cases in Tamil Nadu were returnees from the religious event held in Delhi last month and their contacts, officials said.
In Karnataka, a total of 808 Jamaat workers have been placed under mandatory quarantine, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said as he asserted his government was working "beyond its strength" to control the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
As regards Kerala, of the nine fresh cases reported on Wednesday, two were Jamaat meet participants.
A total of 212 people from Kerala had took part in the Talbligi meeting and of them 15, including the new two cases, have tested positive, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said.
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Of the 48 new cases reported in Tamil Nadu, a total of 42, including a Malaysian national, were connected to the Delhi event, which has become the biggest hotspot for the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
According to the government, of the total 738 positive cases, as on Wednesday 679 people were those who attended "single source event at Delhi and their contacts."
A total of 1,716 samples of those who took part in the event and their contacts have been sent for testing so far in the state.
With the rise in the number of cases, Tamil Nadu has been expanding its testing footprint and as of now it has 12 labs in government and 7 in private sectors with more likely to be added in the coming days.
The state government has been appealing to people who attended the event and their contacts to come forward to approach the health authorities so that they could be tested and treated in the event of them turning positive.
In Karnatka, more than 1,300 people had attended the congregation last month and information regarding all of them had been collected, Yediyurappa said in an interview to PTI.
"...276 Tablighi-Jamaat workers have been identified in Bengaluru and have been kept in quarantine...482 Jamaat workers have been identified in different parts of Karnataka; total 808 Tablighi-Jamaat workers have mandatorily been kept in quarantine in the state" Yediyurappa said.
He said 581 other jamaat workers now in other states have been identified and the respective states informed about them.
Besides, as many as 57 Tablighi Jamaat workers belonging to foreign countries have travelled to various parts of Karnataka such as Bidar, Belagavi, Tumakuru and Bengaluru, they have been identified and quarantined, he added.
FIRs have been registered against them with a direction to blacklist them for violating visa norms, he said.
"Twenty are from Indonesia, one the United Kingdom, four from South Africa, three from Gambia, 19 from Kyrgyzstan, one USA, one France, one Kenya and seven from Bangladesh," he said.