New Delhi: Several suspected and positive coronavirus patients, especially those who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month, have been allegedly creating trouble in hospitals and quarantine facilities, where they were shifted Tuesday.
Delhi Health Secretary Padmini Singla Thursday wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner S.N. Shrivastava, asking for more reinforcements at the hospitals and quarantine centres where the Jamaat event attendees have been kept.
This comes a day after it was reported that some attendees “misbehaved” and “spat” on doctors and healthcare personnel at a railway quarantine facility in southeast Delhi’s Tughlakabad. But the situation is now under control after the intervention of police and CRPF personnel.
Singhla’s letter, which has been accessed by ThePrint, said several patients, “particularly those transferred” from the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque, where the congregation took place, are creating a “law and order problem and commotion in hospitals and quarantine centres”.
It has become difficult for the hospital staff to handle the situation, said Singla in the letter.
The letter didn’t elaborate on the nature of the law and order problem, but Delhi government sources told ThePrint the the Jamaat event attendees were not cooperating with the hospital and medical staff, they were refusing to get tested and were misbehaving with the healthcare personnel.
Sources in the government said these people had misbehaving with the staff at Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, which are two of the several hospitals designated to treat Covid-19 patients in Delhi.
Among the isolation centres, where the Jamaat members have been allegedly creating trouble are the Tughlakabad railway quarantine facility and another in Narela, sources added.
The matter was also raised Thursday during a meeting between Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain and medical superintendents of the various Covid-19 hospitals.
On Wednesday, at least 2,361 people were evacuated from the mosque after 24 from the area tested positive for coronavirus Tuesday evening.
This large-scale evacuation at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters took over 36 hours, and came after several people died from Covid-19 after attending the Delhi event from 13-15 March.
More police to be deployed at isolation centres
Mandeep Singh, PRO of Delhi Police, said: “Police personnel have been deployed at all these (isolation) centres and more will be deployed if need be.”
He added the police are constantly in touch with the government officials in this regard.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also been receiving calls from health workers in this connection. He had mentioned it during the digital press conferences he held Wednesday and Thursday.
Things smooth at Railway isolation centre
Meanwhile, situation at the Tughlakabad facility, where some Jamaat members allegedly misbehaved and spat on doctors, has settled down.
“We had to call the police where the Tablighi Jamaat attendees have been quarantined because they were not cooperating with us and misbehaving with us,” Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar told ThePrint. “But after the CRPF and the Delhi Police were called, things have settled down.”
Since the situation has now settled down, Kumar said it is important that the issue is not raised in a way that it disrupts the communal harmony.
“We (the Railways) want to ensure that there are no infections and the social fabric of the society is maintained.”
In a statement issued Wednesday, Kumar said: “At the quarantine centre, they (attendees) misbehaved with the staff and even raised objections over the food being served to them… They even spat at the doctors and those attending to them and refused to stop roaming around the quarantine facilities.”
“We informed the DM (district magistrate) South East Delhi to arrange necessary security to control them or to shift them to any other suitable place. At 5.30 pm, four Delhi Police constables and six CRPF jawans along with a PCR van have been deployed at the quarantine centres,” he said.
Of the over 2,000 attendees, about 167 are currently housed in this makeshift quarantine centre set up on the Railway’s property.
The health authorities Thursday confirmed that nearly 400 Covid-19 patients in the country have a Tablighi Jamaat connection. With nearly 2,000 positive cases, one in India’s five confirmed coronavirus patients is linked to the Sunni organisation.