The Gujarat Police has identified 72 persons from the State to have attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, which has emerged as a major coronavirus “hotspot”.
Of them, 71 persons have been traced and quarantined; one of them died of COVID-19 in Bhavnagar district.
Among the 71 persons, 34 are from Ahmedabad, 19 from Bhavnagar, 12 from Mehsana, four from Botad and two from Navsari.
“Efforts are still on to identify and trace other attendees. I urge them to voluntarily come forward and contact the police so that they can be quarantined,” Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) Shivanand Jha told reporters in Gandhingar, adding that the situation could worsen if such people do not come forward.
Earlier, Chief Minster Vijay Rupani had also said that every person from the State to have attended the congregation would be traced and quarantined. He, too, warned of action against those who had attended the Nizamuddin event and did not inform local authorities of their participation.
The State police, along with civic and health authorities, are organising medical examination of all the identified attendees of the congregation.
Going by list
Mr. Jha said the exercise to identify the people who had attended the event was being conducted in accordance with a list shared by the Centre. The list, however, has the names of all the persons who were present in the entire Nizamuddin area during that time.
Earlier in the day, the State Health Department said the list received from the Centre had stated that around 1,500 people from Gujarat had visited the Nizamuddin area last month, and that most of them had not attended the Tablighi congregation.
Meanwhile, Surat Municipal Commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani said that 43 people who had visited Nizamuddin area were traced on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday and were sent to a central quarantine facility set up by the civic body in the city.
‘Only in the area’
“A detailed questioning of these 43 persons has revealed that only one out of them had actually attended the event inside the Markaz (Tablighi centre) while others had gone to the Nizamuddin area for some other work or they were on a business trip,” said Surat Commissioner of Police R.B. Brahmbhatt.
While 13 such persons, who were in Nizamuddin area, were traced and quarantined in Bhavnagar on Tuesday, four others were quarantined in Botad district,” said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ashok Yadav. Ten others to have been in the area were traced and quarantined in Valsad while 15 have been quarantined in Navsari so far.
All of them were part of the 1,500 people who had visited Nizamuddin area.
Meanwhile, alarmed by the incident, the Gujarat Police has decided to check all religious places in the State and lodge cases if four or more persons were found at one place, according to police sources.