HYDERABAD: The Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments are currently scrambling to track and quarantine residents who went to the Markaz convention at Nizamuddin, Delhi, which has turned out to be the new epicentre of COVID-19 in the country. However, the state governments seem to have acted late, as the tracking and quarantining measures could have been put in place much earlier, even helping in saving some lives.
As Express finds out, a three-day outreach programme by Tabilghi Jamaat known as ‘Jod’ specifically for followers from AP was held at the Markaz two weeks ago - on March 15, 16 and 17, which was attended by many people from the two Telugu states. It was after this event that many people returned to the two states, who are now being traced.
Muslim elders promise to cooperate with health workers
Though the local people did not assault them, they, however, abused them verbally. The officials confirmed the incident and felt that the locals were under the impression that the staff were there to do a survey for the National Population Register (NPR). The teams comprised ANMs and ASHA workers, who were trying to identify the individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms when the people obstructed them.
The team members were upset about the fact that at a time when they were working in a high-risk environment, they were facing assaults and abuses instead of cooperation from people. "We completed the work in Quilla area under police supervision," one of the team members said. DMHO M Sudharshanam brought the incident to the notice of the district collector.
Later, the collector, after consulting R&B Minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy, called a meeting with Muslim elders where the latter promised to cooperate with the health workers.
3,700 people screened
In Karimnagar, the Health Department and the IMA jointly conducted the second phase of screening of people in the red zone. Collector K Shashanka also took part in the screening programme. According to DMHO G Sujatha, about 55 health teams screened about 3,700 people on Wednesday. Also, security has been beefed up in Karimnagar in the wake of Nizamabad incident.