Nearly 253 people who have tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19) of the 1,190 in the country are from the southern States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, besides the Union Territory of Andaman.
Including Kerala, the southern part of the country accounts for 446, excluding Andaman and Puducherry.
Apart from those coming from abroad carrying the infection, there are over 75 cases which have come either from their travel to Delhi to attend a Tablighi Jamaat Conference at the Nizamuddin Banglewali Markaz or coming in contact with Tablighi preachers in Telangana or Tamil Nadu.
Swarajya has put out a series of news reports tracking the infection to the Tablighi Jamaat preachers, who have travelled from New Delhi to Telangana or Tamil Nadu.
Now, with the number of Coronavirus cases rising, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments have shifted their focus to the Nizamuddin Banglewali Markaz, where an event called the Aalami Mashwara event took place during 17-19 March.
According to the the Centre now suspects that the Aalami Mashwara could have been the focal point for the pandemic to spread to other parts of the country. Participants at the congregation came in contact with Malaysian and Indonesian preachers.
The suspicion is that the Aalami Mashwara could have participants who took part in Ijtima Asia — at Seri Petaling mosque, Selangor in Malaysia that has turned into a hotspot for the spread of the pandemic virus in South-East Asia.
Tamil Nadu government raised an over the Nizamuddin congregation after a high percentage of those who were screened tested positive for the pandemic virus. Of the 17 samples tested, 16 were positive with 14 of them from Erode district.
On Monday (30 March), Tamil Nadu Health Minister Dr C Vijayabaskar tweeted that 10 of the 17 new cases were all from Erode and had a travel history to Delhi, besides having contact with two Thai Tablighi Jamaat preachers. Another person in Thiruvarur also had a travel history to Delhi.
The Thai Islamic preachers had come to Erode from New Delhi in the Millennium Express on 10 March.
Local media reports from Coimbatore said that nine persons with a travel history to the Nizamuddin event had tested positive at Anamalai in Coimbatore district.
Tamil Nadu authorities say that their anxiety has been raised as they do not have the complete list of those who attended the Alami Mashwara. A list containing 819 of those who attended the event has been found and these people are being screened for Covid-19 symptoms.
Apart from Coimbatore, Erode and Salem other districts such as Thanjavur, Vellore, Chennai and Kanchipuram have also seen visits or stays by preachers from the Tableeghi Jamaat.
In Tamil Nadu alone, 38 of the 67 cases have either come from the Tablighi preachers or after attending the Banglewali Markaz event.
He said the Khairtabad local, who became Telangana’s first victim, had attended the event at Jama Masjid. No details are available on the Jama Masjid event.
Telangana Today, quoting sources, that about 1,000 persons in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana could have attended the Nizamabad event. It said those who attended the gathering began returning from 18 March onwards.
Medachal, Kurnool and Guntur are some of the places from which infections are being reported after contact with Tableeghi personnel or after attending their events.
One person in Tumkur in Karnataka, who died of Coronavirus, was reported to have visited the Jama Masjid in Delhi around 11 March. This is again something that needs clarification
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