• Wednesday, Jun 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Coronavirus: India scours mosques to trace contacts with Delhi gathering

  • Published at 03:45 pm April 1st, 2020
New Delhi: coronavirus
A man wearing a protective mask walks to board a bus that will take him to a quarantine facility, amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi, India, March 30, 2020 Reuters

2,335 people were taken out of the Tablighi centre and its mosque over a 36-hour period that ended on Wednesday

As coronavirus cases rose across densely-populated South Asia, authorities scoured mosques in northern India on Wednesday trying to trace people who attended the gathering of a Muslim group in New Delhi that later emerged as an infection hotspot.

Thousands of people from across India and some from countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, had visited the headquarters of the Sunni Muslim missionary movement, Tablighi Jamaat, in a narrow winding Delhi lane last month, participating in prayer sessions and lectures over several days.

With no public transportation and all movement stopped due to a nationwide lockdown, thousands of people had been stranded inside the Tablighi centre's dormitories after the meeting ended while others had left the city, the administrators said.

Delhi's Health Minister Satyendra Jain said 2,335 people were taken out of the Tablighi centre and its mosque over a 36-hour period that ended on Wednesday.

"They have been sent to quarantine centres, others who showed symptoms are in hospitals," he said.

Television images on Wednesday showed health officials in protective gear escorting people out of mosques in India northern state of Uttar Pradesh as the search for the people who attended and whoever they came in contact with progressed.

"We are asking all these people who attended the meeting to surrender themselves wherever they are in the country, if they are in mosques they must inform officials so they can be taken and put into quarantine," Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said.

India has had 1,397 cases of coronavirus of which 35 have died, according to the latest figures from the health ministry, still a small number compared with the United States, Italy and Spain.

At least 128 cases have been tied to the Tablighi centre, and seven of these have died, making it the first big cluster since infections began spreading in the world's second most populous country last month.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a 21-day lockdown that will end in mid-April in a desperate bid to stave off an epidemic among India's 1.3 billion people.

With hundreds of millions living in cramped, unhygienic conditions, there are fears that India's fragile health system could be easily overwhelmed if the coronavirus takes root.

But the world's largest shutdown has left millions of economically vulnerable people jobless and led to a mass exodus from the cities to the countryside.

South Asia surge expected

With one-fifth of the world's population, millions of whom live on the edge of poverty, South Asia could see a surge of cases, health experts say. Pakistan had 2,039 people infected with the virus after a jump of 240 cases on Tuesday, the largest single-day rise, government statistic showed.

Most of the new cases were related to a Pakistani branch of the Tablighi which put off its meeting in Lahore at the last minute because of fear of the virus, but by then hundreds had already landed up at its centre in the eastern city.

“The last 24 hours has seen a substantial increase in suspected patients,” Pakistan’s top health official Zafar Mirza told reporters.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail