With nearly half of the 45 positive coronavirus cases in Bhopal traced to the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, lockdown measures in the Madhya Pradesh capital have been tightened to curtail its spread.
Late on Sunday, the district administration announced that only milk and medicine stores will remain open. On Monday, the police used drone cameras in localities like Budhwara, Itwara and Islampura to keep an eye on those violating lockdown rules.
Ten Jamaat members who are currently in Bhopal had visited the Nizamuddin headquarters in early March.
“During their stay in Bhopal they visited 30 mosques across the city. We tested the jamaatis after checking their travel history. Many foreigners had attended the Markaz,’’ a senior police officer told The Indian Express while explaining the sudden surge in the state capital.
So far, 20 of the 45 positive cases in Bhopal have been traced to the congregation and some reports are still awaited. More than 300 who came in contact with them have been quarantined and the police are trying to trace hundreds of others.
A vegetable trader in Karond mandi on the city’s outskirts tested positive a couple of days ago. The police said he perhaps got the infection after coming into contact with the Jamaatis.
“It’s difficult to estimate the extent of spread because nearly 75 per cent of the Jamaat members showed no symptoms and must have interacted with many people. That’s why we have imposed a strict lockdown,’” the officer said admitting that even the testing mechanism is yet to be streamlined.
Meanwhile, Bhopal has reported its first death A 52-year-old man who tested positive on Sunday died past midnight. Bhopal CMHO Dr. Sudhir Dehriya confirmed the death.
Apart from top officials, including two IAS officers, who were leading the state’s fight against the novel coronavirus disease, nine junior health officials have also tested positive. More than 170 people who were in touch with these health officials have been quarantined.
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