New Delhi: A group of at least 200 people from southeast Delhi’s Nizamuddin area were taken for Covid-19 testing Monday, after seven people in the area tested positive two days ago and a few more complained of symptoms, ThePrint has learnt.
The Delhi Police have cordoned off the entire area by putting barricades, and are monitoring the movement of the people using drones, a senior police officer said.
Gathering on 10 March
The Nizamuddin Markaz mosque, located in the thickly populated area, had visitors on 10 March from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan, for a gathering organised by the Tableeghi Jamaat. It is suspected that local residents may have been exposed to the deadly novel coronavirus at that time.
Two men who were present at that gathering tested positive, while one visitor, a religious preacher, died last week in Srinagar. Before coming to Delhi, the preacher had also visited the Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh.
“A group of 30 people was taken for testing two days ago at a Delhi government hospital, and seven of them had tested positive. Since it is a densely populated area, it was decided that people should be taken for testing in batches,” an official of the Union health ministry told ThePrint.
The official, however, could not confirm the exact number of people being taken.
“They are being taken in batches. Today, a large group was taken, and more will be taken for testing eventually,” the official said.
Dr Mohammad Shoaib, spokesperson for the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque, also said he had provided a list of names to the administration, featuring anyone who had a health issue, including cold and fever. He, however, said they do not have any confirmed cases until now.
Y'day, we provided a list of names to Administration, who had any health issue, including cold&fever. Some of them have been admitted in hospital on basis of age/travel history.We don't have any confirmed #COVID19 case till now:Dr Mohd. Shoaib,Spokesperson,Nizamuddin Markaz,Delhi pic.twitter.com/uveWDAFhdq
— ANI (@ANI) March 30, 2020
The Delhi Police have sealed the entire area, because they “cannot take any risk”.
A senior police officer said: “We cannot allow any person from that area to come out, as they may infect others. They have been quarantined.”
The officer added: “We are making constant announcements asking people to remain indoors, carrying out patrolling and are monitoring the movement through drones. The people have been told that they will face legal action if they violate the orders.”
According to another Union health ministry official, there are more than 1,000 people who may have come in contact with infected persons at the 10 March event.
“The infected persons met people, who then took buses back to their respective states. This is a difficult situation, which is why we are acting with great caution. People in this area should quarantine themselves to contain the spread further,” the official said.