A group of Indonesian Islamic preachers who travelled from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh to Ramagundam in Telangana has, probably, spread Coronavirus (Covid-19) to others in the country.
Seven of the preachers, belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat, tested positive for the pandemic virus on Wednesday, while one more Indonesian from the group was found to be positive on Friday.
The damage hasn’t stopped there.
The Railways Ministry tweeted at noon today (21 March) that eight passengers who travelled in the Andhra Pradesh Sampark Kranti Express, in which the Indonesians were on board, have tested positive for Covid-19.
This obviously could be the eight Indonesians, though the Railways Ministry has not made it clear.
The Telangana government said two Indonesians, aged 27 and a 60, had tested positive on 20 March, taking the total number of those infected with the pandemic from the country while in India to nine.
The State authorities said that they had traced 33 members of the S-9 coach in which the Indonesian preachers’ group travelled.
All the 33 have been quarantined at the Railway hospital for 10 days.
Of the 297 Covid-19 positive cases in India, 19 are from Telangana.
Meanwhile, Telangana Police found out that more Indonesians had come to the State and visited several others parts such as Vemulawada, Sircilla and Jagitial.
Also, an Indonesian who the police were on the lookout for attempted and even managed to get into the Tirupati-New Delhi Andhra Pradesh Sampark Express before he was detained at Kurnool.
The Indonesian was reported to be coughing and sneezing and had briefly managed to escape the police net. Nine of his co-passengers in a bus in which he travelled before he boarded the train have also been quarantined at an isolation ward at the Kurnool Government Hospital.
In Kurnool, 187 persons have been kept under observation at their respective homes, while the authorities are looking out for another 113 more. All the 300 had returned from abroad.
According to local media reports, the influx of religious preachers from Indonesia and Vietnam is proving to be a major problem in Kurnool district.
Mosques in the districts are regularly engaging services of Indonesia-based clerics to preach to the congregations of religious Islamic scholars.
The Indonesian preachers belong to the Tablighi Jamaat, which means the Society for Spreading Faith that originated from Mewat in Haryana in 1926.
The Indonesian preachers had come to India, particularly Telangana, to teach Muslims of the mosque they had chosen in the town. After landing in Delhi on 9 March, the preachers had gone to Bhopal before boarding train for Kurnool.
As part of the Tablighi objective, they planned to teach the Muslims about Quran and practising their religion as it was done during the Prophet’s time.
The mosque, where these preachers go to teach, is picked by a draw of lots.
A Tablighi Jamaat event in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia has resulted in the religious congregation providing to be the hotspot for Covid-19. Two-thirds of Malaysian coronavirus positive cases are from the event.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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