At least 284 people from Kerala who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat convention in Nizamuddin in New Delhi are still at large and remain untraceable as their mobile phones are switched off, India Today reported.
According to the report, total of 1,311 participants from Kerala attended the Tablighi Jamaat convention in Nizamuddin in New Delhi. An estimated 518 participants returned to Kerala. All of them have been identified and are currently under home quarantine.
Another 509 attendees, whose whereabouts has been identified based on last known location of their mobile phone, are currently based in other states including Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. It is said most of them are stranded in those states because of the lockdown. A Tablighi Jamaat member from Kerala, P.C. Salim, a 74-year-old retired chemistry professor from Pathanamthitta, died of Covid-19 in a Delhi hospital. But what has kept the Kerala police on the tenterhooks is 284 unaccounted Tablighi members. The state government has launched all out efforts to track and quarantine them at the earliest.
On March 29, Intelligence Bureau (IB) director Arvind Kumar is learnt to have informed state DGPs to initiate immediate efforts to trace the movement of the Tablighi workers in their area, ascertain their contacts and medically screen all of them. Based on the directive from the centre, Kerala is said to have launched an operation to trace the Tablighis. Kerala Chief Minister reportedly instructed the state police apparatus to key the operation low key.
India Today report quoted a senior police official as saying “ Every contact they make could spread the infection further and it could lead to an explosive community spread across the state"
After nine successive days of reporting new cases of novel coronavirus in single digits indicating some success in ‘flattening the curve’, Kerala saw a spike with 19 new cases yesterday (Apr 21). As of April 21 it has reported 426 cases, with 307 recoveries and three deaths.
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