The Karnataka government is trying to trace 32 out of around 45 persons from the state, who had taken part in the religious congregation of Tablighi Jamaat held in Nizamuddin West, Delhi earlier this month.
The mosque at Nizamuddin, which had hosted more than 1,700 persons, has turned into a hotspot for COVID-19 outbreak. At least 10 coronavirus-related deaths and 300 hospitalisations are linked to this seminary.
"Around 45 persons from the state had attended the Nizamuddin Jamaat mosque held on March 10. The man from Sira who died of coronavirus infection (March 27) is one of them. We have traced only 13 persons and they have been isolated. However, we hope to trace out the others through the phone call records at the earliest," said state health minister B. Sriramulu.
"We cannot rule out the possibility of COVID infection among all those who attended the prayer meeting. So, it is crucial for us to track down these people and quarantine them," says the minister, adding that the congregation had participants from foreign countries including Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
It may be recalled that the 65-year-old man from Sira in Tumkur district, who died due to COVID-19 on March 27, had no travel history of having visited any of the COVID-hit countries. But he had travelled to Delhi on March 5, by Sampark Kranti Express train. In Delhi, he had attended religious activities at Nizamuddin Masjid between March 7 and 11 and had stayed at a nearby lodge as the mosque premise was crowded. He returned to Bengaluru by Congo Express (S9 coach) on March 14 and took a bus to Sira.
On March 18, he visited a private clinic as he had developed symptoms like cold and fever. He was admitted to the district hospital in Tumkur on March 23. He passed away at 10.45am on March 27.
Around 24 persons including the three wives and 16 children of the deceased, and three healthcare professionals were identified as high risk primary contacts.On March 30, his 13-year-old son tested positive for COVID-19, and was shifted to Indira Gandhi hospital in Bengaluru.
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai suspects more than 50 persons from Karnataka attended the Delhi meeting. "It is a big challenge to trace all the people who attended the meet and the police is taking leads from those who have already been traced. We have information that these untraced people are from Bengaluru, Tumkur, Bidar and Gulbarga. As the meeting was attended by foreign nationals, we are coordinating with the Centre," said Bommai.