Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia Wednesday said that the Nizamuddin Markaz — which has emerged as a virus hotspot — has been cleared this morning. He also said that 2,361 people were evacuated and 617 of them have been placed under quarantine. The evacuations started on Monday amid a nationwide search for suspected coronavirus cases after 200 people who had attended a large gathering at the Nizamuddin building tested positive for the infection.
Taking to Twitter, Sisodia wrote, “The medical staff, administration, police and DTC staff worked together in this 36-hour operation, putting their lives at risk. Hats off to all of them.”
The area was put under lockdown as 24 people tested positive in the area. Fifty people from Tamil Nadu who were present at the gathering also tested positive, while five died in Telangana. At least 20 states and Union Territories are scrambling to identify, quarantine and test all those who attended a gathering.
The movement of people, including that of foreign nationals from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries, from Delhi to other states after the gathering, has presented a complex contact tracing task before the health and law enforcement authorities.
The Home Ministry has warned states about members of the Tablighi Jamaat, spread across the country, being potential carriers of COVID-19. In its letter on March 28, the Home Ministry said all foreign delegates, who were on a tourist visa, should be screened and reported. “It is advised that each foreigner who is a part of any Tablighi team may be thoroughly screened in the context of COVID-19 and quarantined or hospitalized, if so required. Else if such foreigner is found to be free from COVID-19, then he should be immediately deported by the first available flights,” said the Home Ministry letter addressed to state chief secretaries and police chiefs.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, meanwhile, called Tablighi Jamaat’s action “a Talibani crime.” “Such a criminal act can not be forgiven. They have put the lives of many people in danger. Strict action should be taken against such people & organisations that defy govt directions,” he said, news agency ANI reported. Police action has been registered against the administration of Markaz.
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