Bharuch district reported its first COVID-19 cases on Friday from the remote village of Ikhar in Amod taluka, with four Jamaat members from Tamil Nadu testing positive. District Collector MD Modhiya said that over 95 people belonging to various Islamic Jamaat groups in different states were identified in the district. A massive health check-up drive is being conducted in the areas where they have been staying since before the lockdown was imposed, he added. The four COVID-19 positive patients have been admitted to the Bharuch Civil Hospital for treatment.
The four men — aged 25, 27, 39 and 50 years — belong to Tamil Nadu and are part of a Jamaat that had travelled to cities such as Mumbai and Surat before arriving in Ankleshwar, Bharuch. “They drove in a van and reached Ikhar village on March 18. They had arrived in Ankleshwar on March 12 via Surat and Mumbai. They also stayed in Bharuch for a few days. We are trying to trace their entire contact history and quarantine everyone who has come in contact with them.”
Modhiya said that the Jamaat members were discovered when the district health department teams initiated a door-to-door survey in view of the pandemic. “Our door-to-door teams, who began the health survey in villages, reached Ikhar and learnt about the presence of people from other states. We immediately quarantined 11 of them in a vacant house in Ikhar. They were asymptomatic during their entire quarantine, but tested positive in the mass samples collected on Thursday.”
Modhiya confirmed that a total of 95 persons belonging to various Jamaats have been in Bharuch since the outbreak of the pandemic, although before the countrywide lockdown was imposed. “There are people of different Jamaats who are in Bharuch. Of these, 11 came from Tamil Nadu and seven have tested negative. We also have 41 persons from the Nizamuddin Markaz and 13 from the Bhavnagar Jamaat. Another 13 from the Haryana Jamaat, 12 in Sarod of Jambusar, as well as 22 people from the Karnataka Jamaat are also present. We are doing mass sampling today, too and 25 health teams are continuing the survey in Ikhar, which will be completed by tonight.”
Ikhar is also home to former Indian pacer Munaf Patel.
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