Jharkhand recorded its first confirmed COVID-19 case Tuesday after a Malaysian national, who was part of Delhi‘s Tablighi Jamaat event, tested positive at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).
Officials said the 22-year-old woman had boarded a train for Ranchi after attending the event at Markaz in Nizamuddin in mid-March.
Principal Health Secretary Nitin Kulkarni said: “The woman is part of a group of 17 foreign nationals who have been put into isolation. Seven Indians have also been sent into isolation.”
Head of Microbiology at RIMS Manoj Kumar said: “The worrying part is that the Malaysian woman did not have any symptoms. All others who came with her have been also found to be COVID-19 negative, but they will be tested again.”
Ranchi District Deputy Commissioner Rai Mahimapat Ray said the woman along with 23 others were part of the event. “She boarded Rajdhani Express on March 16 and reached Ranchi the next day. We are tracing her contacts and the entire travel history.”
DC Ray also appealed to people on social media who have travelled by “train no 20840 (New Delhi-Ranchi Rajdhani Express), Coach no-B1; Date of journey-16.03.2020 to reach Ranchi on 17.03.2020, to kindly contact immediately.”
The DC said the woman stayed at five different houses since she came to Ranchi. “All have been quarantined and there is a complete lockdown in the Hindpiri area where she stayed. We are ascertaining her pre-Delhi travel details,” she said.
Tablighi Jamaat workers, both foreigners and Indians, take part in Tabligh activities (Chilla) across the country throughout the year. Intelligence agencies had on March 21 alerted all states on this aspect and had advised for quarantine. On March 24, 11 foreign nationals and Tablighi Jamaat workers, who had stayed in a mosque in Tamar area of Ranchi, were put under quarantine. However, till date, none have been tested. A senior official said they were all asymptomatic, but will be tested soon.
Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh said: “The 11 were also part of the event in Nizamuddin Delhi.”
He added: “All people who went to the mosque and are within its three kilometres have to be surveyed door-to-door and quarantined or put into isolation. We are in the process of forming a special committee to look into the matter urgently.”
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