In Kanpur city, which has emerged as a coronavirus hotspot district in UP, close to one-third of the total 170 cases is concentrated in three madrasas where over 53 students mostly between 10 and 20 years have tested positive.
According to the district health and administrative officials, the madrasa students were most likely infected by the members of Tablighi Jamaat, who had returned to the city after attending the Delhi Markaz in March.
“Even though we have multiple hotspots in the district, a large number of cases have come from three madrasas in the last 12 days… Among those infected are very young children who are studying in these madrasas. The good thing is that most are asymptomatic and are showing clear signs of recovery,” said District Magistrate (Kanpur City) Brahm Dev Tiwari.
Among the three madrasas, the highest number is concentrated at Coolie Bazaar madrasa, the biggest virus cluster in the district. “The biggest challenge came from the Coolie Bazar madrasa that has resulted in around 38 positive cases. Near the madrasa is one Hate Wali Masjid which was a hotspot as people from Tablighi connection had stayed there,” said the DM.
According to State Surveillance Officer Vikasendu Agarwal Coolie Bazaar can emerge as the biggest hotspot in the state after Lucknow’s Sadar area from where more than 80 positive cases have been reported. So far more than 50 cases have been reported from the Bazar itself. Agarwal also said that other than Kanpur, a significant number of madrasa students – at least 13 — have tested positive in Saharanpur with the return of people from Islamic seminary Darul Uloom in Deoband.
The other madrasa in Kanpur with at least seven cases is the one at Machhariya, which has now been sealed and disinfected. “We had information that some persons with Tablighi connection had been staying in that area. At least seven madrasa students, all from Bihar, had tested positive on April 13,” said the DM.
The third madrasa with seven cases is Mahmudia Ashrafia. “Samples from the students of this madrasa were taken during random sampling as we thought that several madrasas are showing infection and it would be better to make sure that there aren’t more of such cases. While some of the madrasas showed no infection, this one had at least seven positive cases,” said the DM.
As new cases are being reported from the city, the number of containment zones in the district has reached around 25 by Sunday with reporting of at least 20 new cases in last 24 hours.
“The number of hotspots will keep increasing now with reporting of fresh cases… We are working on war footing to trace contacts and contain the infection. The silver lining so far is that not a single case in the district has an unknown cause of infection, underlining that there has been no community spread of the virus,” the DM added.
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