Ground information to electronic media – the police from at leas six states have been using all methods to navigate the contact tracing nightmare that has come up after the people who attended a massive religious gathering at Delhi’s Nizamuddin area started testing positive for the highly contagious coronavirus. Seven people have died, one in Jammu and Kashmir and six in Telangana.
Close to 2,000 people had been staying at “Markaz Nizamuddin”, the Delhi headquarters of the Muslim religious organisation Tablighi Jamaat, which had organized the event. More than 300 people were moved to hospitals yesterday with symptoms of the highly contagious virus. In Delhi, 34 proved COVID-19 positive.
Sources said the home ministry has given high priority to contact tracing from the gathering – which was attended by people from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan and has been identified as a major hub of the virus spread. Home Minister Amit Shah is being briefed about the situation every day.
So far, 711 people – those who attended the gathering and those in contact with them – have been traced in Andhra Pradesh, 194 have been traced in Telangana. A hunt is also on in Uttar Padesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and Assam.
The greater success in Andhra Pradesh is owing to the use of electronic means – the state police have been relying on an app to track COVID-positive patients.
The app – developed by the state police – can also monitor those under home quarantine and can detect any movement 30-50 metres from home. Of the 28,000 people under surveillance in Andhra Pradesh, around 25,000 are already on the app, which was launched last week.
Besides, the police are also using information from cellphone towers to track patients. Besides more than 2 lakh people from villages are also supplying groud information to the authorities.
In Uttar Pradesh, relying on ground information, the police traced eight preachers of Tablighi Jamaat at a mosque in Nagina. All eight came from Indonesia.
“They came to Delhi via Bangladesh and then went to Odisha, On March 21, they reached the Jamunwali masjid in Bijnore’s Nagina,” said Sanjay Singh, a senior police officer from Bijnor.
In Jammu and Kashmir, where contact tracing would otherwise have been a nightmare, a lot of people are coming forward with information, the police said.
The second Coronavirus-positive patient who died in Jammu and Kashmir had attended the Delhi event. In Kashmir, he had come in contact with a number of people, the police said.
The police are also gathering ground information on how many people from Jammu and Kashmir had attended the event.
So far, they have tracked down more than 100 people who have come in contact with Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the mosque congregation
in Delhi. Officials say aggressive contact tracing is done to control the spread of virus. Under hashtag #Togetherweshallfight, senior Jammu and Kashmir official Rohit Kansal tweeted: “Aggressive contact tracing of positive cases key to control spread of Coronavirus. Yesterday several areas surrounding location of positive cases or untraced contact cases had to be sealed in Jammu, Srinagar, Pulwama, Shopian, Rajouri