Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted late on Wednesday night: “Alert ~ 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.”
Earlier in the day, Sarma said at a press conference in Guwahati that the first patient, who tested positive on Tuesday, had visited the event in Nizamuddin, as did the four others whose samples tested positive next.
The first patient is a 52-year-old Muslim cleric who belongs to Karimganj district in Assam’s Barak Valley region. He is now under treatment at the Silchar Medical College and Hospital. He is a cancer patient.
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 proceed to Karimganj the next day. All his travels were by train, Rajdhani Express, and people he came in contact with are being traced, quarantined and their samples were sent for testing. The man had visited a cancer hospital in Silchar on March 17, but the hospital had not raised any suspicion of him being a Covid-19 patient.
Among those who tested positive today are a 19-year-old from Nalbari district and three people — aged 60, 55 and 46 — from Jagiroad in Morigaon district.
The ages and details of the latest eight positive cases are yet to be announced by the health officials.
Sarma said that of the approximately 547 people from Assam who had been in and around the Nizamuddin event, 134 persons were just passing through the area in their vehicles. Another 68 people were confirmed to have not returned to Assam.
Of the remaining, 230 have been traced and out of them, the samples of 196 have been collected and sent for tests. More results are awaited. Four persons from Assam who had attended the Nizamuddin event but not returned to Assam have 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. Sarma gave out the names of the positive patients citing public interest, so that people would know and could come forward if they had any history of contact with these people.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged people from the state who had participated in the event to “voluntarily come forward and identify themselves before the concerned authorities to safeguard the interest of their own families and other citizens of the State”.
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