Chennai: Health officials in Tamil Nadu are racing against time to trace people who came in contact with those who attended a religious congregation from March 13 to 15 in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, an area that has now been cordoned off over coronavirus fears.
Thousands are said to have attended the 3-day Tablighi Jamaat conference at the Markaz Nizamuddin mosque, with the Tamil Nadu health authorities estimating that around 1,500 of them were from the state.
In Coimbatore alone, at least 82 people have displayed symptoms similar to that of Covid-19 patients. In Erode district, 10 of the 30 people who participated in the religious gathering have tested positive. On Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said 16 were tested positive, including 10 from Erode district.
Officials said that a 54-year-old Covid-19 patient who had died last week had also participated in the Nizamuddin gathering. Three of his family members have tested positive.
The state government has urged people who attended the religious meeting to step forward and get tested. District officials from Coimbatore and Erode are trying to map those who could have participated in the meeting or come in contact with those who did.
As Telangana reported the deaths of six people who attended the Nizamuddin gathering, Tamil Nadu is expected to scale up contact-tracing. The contact-tracing of people associated with the Thai nationals who had tested positive has also been intensified.
In a press release on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu said it is monitoring the health of over 3.96 lakh people living within 5 sq. km radius of infected patients across 12 districts. The state had announced recently that it is creating a containment zone, ringed by a 2 sq. km buffer to check community transmission.