Hectic efforts on to identify Jamaat returnees in TS

As many as 1,030 persons from Telangana had attended Markaz prayers in New Delhi earlier this month

With as many as 1,030 persons from 29 districts of the State identified as ‘returnees’ from attending Markaz prayers in Nizamuddin in New Delhi earlier this month, the district administrations are on an overdrive to zero in on those suspected to be infected with COVID-19.

On Tuesday, top district officials were on their toes to prepare a list of persons who had attended the religious congregation between March 13 and 15 in New Delhi. The New Delhi Tablighi Jamaat returnees have now become the object of intense focus of authorities in former composite Adilabad district after emerging as the biggest group to have been infected with COVID-19. The administrations in Adilabad, Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Mancherial and Nirmal districts are sparing no efforts in tracking them down, intending to put them into the mandatory isolation either at home or at special centres readied for the purpose.

Mandal-wise teams comprising officers from revenue, medical and police departments have been making efforts to track down the returnees. The list of persons who have attended the Jamaat has been obtained from the local Jamaat authority. The task, however, has been rendered difficult as many devotees had gone to the national capital on their own from rural places and do not figure in the records. For example, over 50 of them have been identified as having participated in the religious congregation from Adilabad district, but only a group of 12 were in the records of the Jamaat.

Authorities in Nirmal district also tracked down more than 50 Jamaat returnees so far. All of them have been put in isolation wards in the polytechnic college in the district headquarter town.

Second largest contingent

As many as 80 persons have been identified to have visited Hazrath Nizamuddin in Delhi from the integrated old Nizamabad district and which is the second largest number in the State.

Collector C. Narayana Reddy said that 39 persons who came back from Delhi along with the retired employee who was detected to be COVID-19 positive were shifted to a quarantine centre. Besides, 55 others who came in contact with them after their arrival were also shifted to isolation wards. However, none of them except the retired employee carried coronavirus symptoms, he said.

The Collector said that all the members of their families were kept in isolation wards under the observation of medical and health department. The entire area inhabited by these people has been under surveillance and survey was done with police, revenue and medical and health staff for three days. Therefore, people need not be panicky, he added.

46 identified in Medak

The administrations of Medak, Sangareddy and Siddipet districts have identified as many as 46 persons who attended the religious meeting.

In Sangareddy district, the administration identified 29 persons and brought them to MNR Medical College located at Fasalwadi, the outskirts of the district headquarters.

Collector M. Hanumantha Rao and Additional Collector Veera Reddy and other senior officials visited the hospital and examined the arrangements. The officials were directed to post a police force at the hospital as a precautionary measure.

Some of the identified persons, residing in Sangareddy, Kandi and other areas, have already been brought to the hospital in ambulances on Tuesday afternoon and the process was expected to bring identified persons from Kohir, Zaheerabad and some other places. Samples will be collected from them and will be sent to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB). The officials have informed that it would take about 24 hours to get results after samples were sent.

On the other hand, the administration has also identified another nine persons who attended similar meetings held at Faziabad and Lucknow between February 10 and March 19. In Siddipet district, five persons were identified and they were shifted for quarantine at Surabhi Medical College.

In Medak district, 14 persons were identified and already put in quarantine about four days ago. Two of them reside in Hyderabad. One person proved positive, while reports of two persons are yet to come. The remaining persons were discharged from Gandhi Hospital where they were sent.

11 quarantined in Karimnagar

Meanwhile, the Commissionerate of Police here had identified all the 11 persons who had attended Markaz prayers and shifted them to quarantine centres in Karimnagar town.

“We have collected the swab samples from the quarantined persons who participated in the prayers. We are also on the job of identifying people who were in direct contact with the 11 persons and would quarantine them very soon,” they police sources stated.

In Vemulawada, police identified four persons and shifted them to quarantine. The police are on the lookout for around 20 persons from Peddapalli town who participated in the prayers in Delhi recently. On the other hand, in Sircilla textile town, the police have started shifting the persons to quarantine, sources stated.

On tenterhooks

The district administration in the erstwhile Warangal district was on tenterhooks after coming to know that scores of Muslims attended a religious meeting at New Delhi and came back silently without submitting themselves to quarantine.

According to Warangal Urban district Collector Rajiv Gandhi Hanumanthu, a total of 32 persons from the district went to New Delhi to attend the religious conference. Of them, 19 were identified and shifted to MGM Hospital for treatment. He made a fervent appeal to the others to identify themselves and come forward.

Mahabubabad district Collector V P Gautham said two persons from the district attended the meeting at Delhi and both were brought to the district hospital in the early hours of Sunday. Also members of seven to eight families with whom they came in contact were put on home quarantine. “A total of six persons are admitted to the hospital on suspicion and no positive case is reported in the district till date,” he explained.

54 from Nalgonda

All the 54 persons, who attended the Markaz prayers, hailing from undivided Nalgonda, are stable and safe, Minister for Energy G. Jagadish Reddy said on Tuesday.

Mr. Reddy said the number, as confirmed to him by officials, was 31 from Nalgonda, 12 from Suryapet and 11 from Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri districts – a total of 54.

According to Yadadri- Bhuvanagiri District Collector Anita Ramachandran, six persons – one from Rajapeta mandal and five persons from Yadagirigutta were transferred to Gandhi Hospital on Sunday. On Monday, more persons from the two mandals and from Bhuvanagiri town were also identified and quarantined.

Police officials in Suryapet were proactive in identifying 12 persons and also geo-tagged their residences last week, on March 27, with inputs from the intelligence wing. Of the 12, one residing in Hyderabad was moved to the facility at Gandhi Hospital, and the rest are at the Imampet isolation centre. They hailed from Arvapally, Suryapet town, Kodad and Mellacheruvu.

In Nalgonda, medical and police officials were seen conducting door-to-door enquiries in the old town on Monday, to gather information and trace more of the 31 persons.

Surveillance intensified

The Bhadradri-Kothagudem district administration has stepped up efforts to trace all those who participated in the Markaz congregation to get them screened for COVID-19.

The move comes close on the heels of the reported death of a few participants due to COVID-19 in various parts of the country on Monday. The authorities have intensified surveillance to identify and quarantine all those who attended the religious event from the district.

As many as ten participants of the religious event have been traced and sent to government quarantine facilities in the district on Tuesday.

In a statement, Collector M V Reddy appealed to people to pass on information if they come across persons who attended the recent religious congregation held in New Delhi, to the 24×7 control room on phone numbers 08744 241950, 9392305104 and 9392307840.

Free medical screening and treatment will be provided, he noted.

[With inputs from S.Harpal Singh (Adilabad), P. Ram Mohan (Nizamabad), R.Avadhani (Sangareddy), K.M.Dayashankar (Karimnagar), G.Srinivasa Rao (Warangal), B.Pradeep (Nalgonda) & P. Sridhar (Bhadradri-Kothagudem) ]

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