TWO PEOPLE from Mohali, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz last month, have tested positive for COVID-19. Three others, who are from Mansa, have also tested positive at the preliminary stage. The reports of their PCR tests (the standard test used to detect the virus) are awaited. They have been kept in the isolation wards of government hospitals.
Mohali Deputy Commissioner Girish Dyalan said the two patients confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus were asymptomatic. The administration has begun contact tracing, he added.
Health Secretary Anurag Aggarwal has passed orders to isolate the three who have tested positive in preliminary reports. Punjab Financial Commissioner, Revenue, K B S Sidhu, who is also a part of state’s disaster management team for COVID-19, tweeted: “A good number of Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) followers from Punjab, who visited Delhi recently, are coming out positive during the preliminary testing/screening round of RT-PCR Test.”
“All such preliminary positive cases have to be put in hospital isolation, irrespective of their symptoms and the duration of stay their stay in Delhi. They can be allowed to go home only if they have tested negative AND have returned to Punjab at least 16 days ago. Positive tested shall be treated as per protocol,” stated the health secretary in his directives to DCs, SSPs and civil surgeons of all districts, adding that around 100 people who had attended
He further added, “about 100 (people from Punjab who attended the Delhi congregation) traced so far…”
The Mansa cases
The three people who tested positive in preliminary testing for COVID-19 at Mansa had been staying in a mosque in Budhlada since March 19. Mansa D C Gurpal Singh Chahal said ten of them were staying in the mosque. “Five have tested negative and tests of two others will be repeated. Two women and a man have tested positive. They appear to be stable and have been put in the isolation ward of the civil hospital.”
After getting information that they had attended the Delhi congregation, a police team had visited the mosque on Thursday. Their tests were sent to Patiala the same day.
Five couples were staying inside the Budhlada Mosque. They originally belong to Chhattisgarh.
A spokesperson of the health department has stated that the government has received a list of 168 persons from the Centre till Friday evening. “Earlier, we had received a list of 9. The number has been increasing after they are being identified,” he said, adding that 113 had been traced, and tests were conducted on 40 of them. Reports of 38 are awaited.
Those who attended the congregation are not cooperating with the government, sources said, adding that not many volunteered when the government was appealing to them to come forward, and many were reported by neighbours. While a few of them lied to the administrations that they did not attend the congregation, their presence there had to be confirmed only after their location was tracked from cell phone towers, an official told The Indian Express. “This is a very strange case. We are tracking them from whatever possible ways now,” the official added.
With the two patients who tested positive Friday, Mohali count of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 12.
While of the cases was reported from Kumbra village, the other was reported from Mauli Baidwan village.
The district administration said the two returned to the city on the night of March 16 by train. Officials told The Indian Express that both had first denied that they attended the markaz. One person is aged 42 while the other is around 65 years old.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Girish Dayalan said that after the cases were found positive, they had sealed Kumbra and Mauli Baidwan villages and created containment zones. He added that extensive sampling of the people living in the area and identification of contacts of the positive cases had begun. The DC further said that both patients were in stable condition and responding to treatment.
Speaking about other samples taken from Jagatpura, Nayagaon and Phase IX, the DC said 48 tests of contacts of a positive case in Jagatpura were found to be negative and the result of three were awaited, while the samples of 14 contacts of other positive cases were found to be negative and the result of five were awaited.
The DC further said that a man who was tested positive at PGI had visited Alamgir village in Derabassi sub-division and 10 households had been put under surveillance in the village.
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