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Guwahati mosque turns out to be Assam’s COVID-19 hotspot

Around 100 people, including eight Tablighi Markaz-returnees, had attended a congregation at the mosque on March 12.

Published: 10th April 2020 07:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2020 07:33 PM   |  A+A-

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

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

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: A mosque in the heart of the city is fast turning out to be a hotspot of COVID-19, prompting the authorities to declare it a “containment zone”.

Around 100 people, including eight Tablighi Markaz-returnees, had attended a congregation at the mosque on March 12. Two of these Tablighi Markaz-returnees tested positive. Another person, who is not among the Markaz participants but attended the Guwahati mosque congregation, also tested positive.

The government has received the names of 58 of the 100 people who took part at the Athgaon Kabarstan Masjid congregation in Guwahati. Efforts were on to identify the remaining others.

Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the government had no idea about the Guwahati mosque congregation.

“We did not know there was a congregation at the mosque on March 12 and that some 100 people participated. We were not told about it. The authorities at the mosque gave us a list of 58 people who attended the congregation. They are being quarantined…

“Of the 100 people, eight had come from Tablighi Markaz. Two of these eight people, Maulana Jamaluddin of southern Assam’s Barak Valley and Jamaluddin Haji of Dhubri district, tested positive. There is another, Rahimuddin of Dhubri, who had not attended the Tablighi Markaz congregation but probably got infected at the mosque,” Sarma said.

He said as the mosque was turning out to be a COVID-19 hotspot, the government decided to declare it a containment zone for 14 days. Nobody will be allowed to go in or come out of it. Food for those in the mosque will be provided by the administration, the Minister said.

He also said that a case would be registered against Jamaluddin Haji for hiding his visit to Tablighi Markaz.

“Jamaluddin Haji visited three government hospitals. The doctors there had asked him about his travel history but at no place he disclosed he had been to Tablighi Markaz. We will file a case against him,” Sarma said, adding, “As he had not disclosed his travel history, we are now facing a shortage of doctors and health workers at the three hospitals. They are being quarantined.”

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