A 66-year-old man from Erode district in Tamil Nadu, who came in contact with two Thai Covid-19 infected people, on Thursday (26 March) tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the state, besides two others.
State Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar tweeted that while the Erode local tested positive for Covid-19, the second case was that of a 63-year-old person who had returned from Dubai.
The third person was a 18-year-old youth who came in contact with a salon worker from UP, who was the second person to test positive for Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu.
The salon worker, who had come to Chennai by train from New Delhi, is all set to be discharged as he has recovered. Two coronavirus tests carried out on him turned negative, Vijayabhaskar said.
So far, 26 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Tamil Nadu with one of them recovering and another succumbing to it. Nearly 285 people have been placed in isolation wards. Of the 1,039 samples tested, 933 turned negative while results of 80 are awaited.
The Erode local is the third person in Tamil Nadu to have been infected with the pandemic virus having come into contact with groups of Tablighi Jamaat preachers from Indonesia and Thailand.
On 25 March, a 54-year-old person in Madurai died of coronavirus after he came into contact with the Thailand Islamic preachers at the Anna Nagar mosque there.
Two of a seven-member Thailand Tablighi Jamaat preachers tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this week.
Last week, one member of the group died but from other health complications. He had, however, shown indications of having coronavirus. This led to the testing of the entire group that had come from Delhi to Erode in the Millennium Express.
Again on 25 March, a person from Salem, who was a travel guide for a group of 11 Indonesians, tested positive for coronavirus. Four of the 11-member group also tested positive the same day.
All three domestic Covid-19 positive cases in Tamil Nadu got infected by getting in contact with the Thai and Indonesian preachers.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabaskar tweeted that the four Indonesians and their guide, who have been quarantined since 22 March, tested positive at the Salem Mohan Kumaramangalam Government Hospital.
But for local people in Salem protesting against the presence of the Islamic preachers and district collector S A Raman’s prompt action of ordering a health screening, the Indonesians would not have been tested.
The four Indonesians are among a group of 11 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat preachers who came to Salem. They have visited at least four mosques in the region — at Kitchipalayam, Ammapet, Shevapet, Ponnammapet and Erumapalayam.
The Indonesians were reported to have been screened at Chennai where they did not show any symptoms of Covid-19. They have been going around the district since 12 March and were set to camp at Mettur from yesterday (25 March).
An enquiry by the Revenue Divisional Officer revealed that the visas of the Indonesians were valid until 6 April.
Including these four, at least 13 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat preachers have tested positive for coronavirus in India. Nine other Indonesian preachers, part of a 13-member group, tested positive for the pandemic virus in Telangana. This is apart from the two Thai Tablighi Jamaat preachers.
So far, 693 people have tested positive for coronavirus in India, including 45 who have recovered and 13 victims. Of the 693, foreigners account for 47 cases out of which the Tablighi Jamaat preachers from Indonesia and Thailand comprise 15.
Click here for more information on the Tablighi Jamaat.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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