By SM.30 Mar, 2020
NEW DELHI: A group of 175 people from Delhi"s Nizamuddin area are being tested for coronavirus in different hospitals amid worries that they may have been exposed to the infection at a gathering in a mosque that featured visitors from Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. One man has died and two others have tested positive after attending the event earlier this month.
This is the largest single group being tested at the same time over suspicion of the highly contagious COVID-19, which is transmitted easily from person to person.
Though it has not been established that the man who died - he was from Tamil Nadu -- had coronavirus, the area has been sealed off and the police are patrolling to ensure no one violates quarantine. Drones are being used to monitor the movement of people. Around 2,000 people are in quarantine in the thickly-populated locality in south Delhi. Some of them are being shifted to other parts of Delhi.
Worries of a large group getting infected revolve around the gathering of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers at the Banglawali Masjid in mid-March.
Visitors to the event include a religious preacher who died last week in Srinagar of coronavirus. He had visited the Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh before returning to Kashmir. Other visitors are an Indonesian and six Saudi citizens, who were sent back.
Officials say contact-tracing is on to identify virus-exposed persons in Delhi, Srinagar and Deoband. Worryingly, many of the visitors travelled all over India after the event. After the gathering, they dispersed in 20-30 buses.
But a number of devotees had stayed back at the mosque.
One man who tested positive in Andhra Pradesh is also connected to this event.
In the worst-case scenario, this could lead to a huge jump in coronavirus cases in India. There are close to 1,100 cases in the country, including 29 deaths.