Updated: April 11, 2020 7:20:03 am
Bharuch district reported its first COVID-19 cases on Friday morning from the remote village of Ikhar in Amod taluka, with four Jamaat members from Tamil Nadu testing positive. Later in the evening, three additional persons tested positive in the district, one of whom also belongs to the Tamil Nadu Jamaat, while the other two patients are from Devla village in Jambusar taluka and are members of the Haryana Jamaat.
District Collector MD Modhiya said that at least 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 patients who tested positive on Friday morning have been admitted to Bharuch Civil Hospital for treatment.
The five men from Tamil Nadu are part of a Jamaat that had travelled to 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 city for a few days. We are trying to trace their entire travel 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.”
“There are several 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..”
The collector added that the two COVID-19 patients who belong to the Tablighi Jamaat of Haryana are originally residents of Yamunanagar. “They entered Bharuch during the month of March. When our teams detected their presence on March 31 in the local masjid, we immediately quarantined them. The problem is that most of them are not coming clean about their travel history and we are seeking police help. However, we took their tests as the new guidelines say all persons belonging to other states also need to be tested. Earlier, only those returning from international travel were tested.”
As of late Friday, Bharuch has reported seven COVID-19 cases out of the 123 samples collected by the district health department. More sampling is underway and will be completed by Saturday, Modhiya said.
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