As many as 41 people who returned to the state after attending the Tablighi Jamaat's Nizamuddin Markaz, or their contacts, have tested positive for the virus since Wednesday.
Rajasthan is grappling with the coronavirus challenge posed by the return of Tablighi Jamaat members from their congregation in Delhi with cases reported from new areas being linked to them, officials said on Saturday. In at least five districts, the first cases can be traced either to Tablighi Jamaat members or their contacts, they said, adding positive cases related to the congregation are rising, and over 703 people are being monitored.
As many as 41 people who returned to the state after attending the Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz, or their contacts, have tested positive for the virus since Wednesday. The state has so far reported a total of 198 coronavirus positive cases, according to officials.
The cases related to Tablighi Jamaat were first reported in Tonk where four people, who had attended the event in mid-March, tested positive on Wednesday. Coronavirus has spread to 18 of the state’s 33 districts.
The first cases in five districts — Tonk, Bharatpur, Dholpur, Dausa and Bikaner – were related to Jamaat people, the officials said. We have been able to trace 703 people related to the Jamaat so far. This includes both, who attended Delhi event or came in their contacts. The work to identify and trace more such people is continuously going on, Umesh Mishra, ADG-Intelligence, Rajasthan Police, told PTI Saturday. They have been home-quarantined or isolated in hospitals and the work of contact-tracing is underway, he said. He said that 381 out of 703 are from other states and 10 are from Nepal.
The presence and movement of Jamaat people is high in Shekhawati region (which comprises Churu, Jhunjhunu, Sikar and nearby areas), Alwar, Bharatpur and nearby areas which are dominated by the Meo community people, and in Tonk, which has a sizeable Muslim population.
Apart from these areas, people from Jamaat have been traced in Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Karauli, Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaipur and Dausa districts also. As many as 166 of the 703 are those who came to Rajasthan after March 15.
Those who came to the state from Delhi after attending the congregation moved from places to places for preaching Islam. They came in contact with men, women as well as children.
Initial challenge for us was Bhilwara, and after that cases from Ramganj in Jaipur suddenly increased. Now cases related to Tablighi Jamaat has become another challenge. Such cases started from Tonk where curfew has already been imposed and intense screening and contact tracing started,? Chief Secretary DB Gupta said. He said that survey and screening at other places, where positive cases are being reported, are being done by medical teams.
In Rajasthan, the maximum of positive cases (55) are from Jaipur and 13 of them are Tablighi Jamaat people. Most of the rest cases are from Ramganj locality. After the state capital, Bhilwara (27) and Jhunjhunu (15) have reported maximum cases. In Jhunjhunu, seven out of 15 are related to Jamaat.