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Thursday, June 04, 2020

Tablighi Jamaat event: 16 test positive in Assam, one each in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh

Assam’s new cases were confirmed by health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet around midnight Thursday.

Written by Abhishek Saha , Jimmy Leivon | Guwahati, Imphal | Updated: April 2, 2020 12:15:35 pm
coronavirus, nizamuddin, tablighi jamat, coronavirus india lockdown, Gujrat goverment, tablighi jamta cases, indian express news Members of the Tablighi Jamaat being taken to hospitals and quarantine centres from the Nizamuddin Markaz in New Delhi. (Express photo by Praveen Khanna)

A total of 16 people — all of whom attended a religious congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin organised by the Tablighi Jamaat earlier this month —  have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Assam. Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh are the other Northeastern states which have reported one positive case each in connection to the event.

Assam’s new cases were confirmed by Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet around midnight Thursday. “3 more #COVID19 positive cases in Goalpara, Assam, taking the total to 16. These three new cases are also of  those who joined #TablighiJamaat congregation at #NizamuddinMarkaz” Sarma tweeted.

Meanwhile, one person who had attended the same event tested positive in Manipur, confirmed Chief Minister N Biren Singh through a tweet posted midnight Thursday: “Very sad and alert. In Manipur too one more #COVIDー19 positive case who joined #TablighiJamaat congregation at #NizamuddinMarkaz . Now in Manipur #COVIDー19 positive are two . Some are under quarantine centres for observation.”    

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The patient is 65 and hails from the state’s Thoubal district. Authorities confirmed that the patient is now undergoing treatment at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal. “Appropriate containment measures and surveillance activities in the locality of the patient has been taken up swiftly,” said an official statement  signed by Dr Kh. Shasee Kumar, Additional Director, Health services, Manipur.

This is Manipur’s second positive case. Last month, a 23-year-old Manipuri woman, a medical student in the UK, tested positive.

One person in Arunachal Pradesh tested positive on Thursday morning. The person reportedly attended the religious event too. More details are awaited.

Assam reported its first patient on Tuesday — a 52-year-old Muslim cleric from  Karimganj district of the state’s Barak Valley region.A cancer patient, he is now under treatment at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital. On Wednesday Sarma addressed a press conference detailing the man’s travel history. 

On March 5, he went to Delhi and from the next day to March 10 attended the congregation at Nizamuddin. He returned to Guwahati on March 11, and proceeded to Karimganj the next day. All his travels were by the Rajdhani Express, and people he came in contact with are being traced, quarantined and their samples tested, Sarma confirmed. 

Of the next four tested positive on Wednesday morning, one is a 19-year-old from Nalbari district while the others — aged 60, 55 and 46 — are from Jagiroad in Morigaon district. Among the others, 8 are from Golaghat district and 3 are from Goalpara.

Sarma told reporters that approximately 547 people from Assam were “in and around” the Nizamuddin event. Out of them 134 were just passing the area in their vehicles, and another 68 had not returned to Assam. Of the remaining, 230 have been traced, and 196 samples have been collected and sent for tests. Four persons from Assam who had attended the Nizamuddin event but not returned to Assam have also tested positive.

Contact tracing operations are on, Sarma said, even as he appealed to people who might have had contact with these people to come forward on their own. The minister also announced the names of the positive patients, citing public interest so that anyone else, who might have come in contact with them, could come forward and report themselves. 

Elsewhere in the Northeast, a 50-year-old pastor in Mizoram, who had returned recently from Amsterdam, had tested positive last month.

Here’s a quick Coronavirus guide from Express Explained to keep you updated: What can cause a COVID-19 patient to relapse after recovery? | COVID-19 lockdown has cleaned up the air, but this may not be good news. Here’s why | Can alternative medicine work against the coronavirus? | A five-minute test for COVID-19 has been readied, India may get it too | How India is building up defence during lockdown | Why only a fraction of those with coronavirus suffer acutely | How do healthcare workers protect themselves from getting infected? | What does it take to set up isolation wards?

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