Hyderabad, March 31 (IANS) Rattled by the death of six persons due to coronavirus, authorities in Telangana are set to launch an intensive drive on Tuesday to identify and quarantine all those who had attended Tablighi Jamaat meeting in New Delhi.
The medical and health department has alerted all districts to trace the persons who returned from the national capital and their contacts.
As more than 10 days have passed since the return of the participants in the religious programme, the authorities face an uphill task of identifying all those who came in contact with them.
The department has asked all those attended the meeting at Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area to inform the officials concerned. The government assured that it would conduct tests and offer treatment to them free of cost.
The department said anyone who has information about the participants in the meeting should alert the government.
The participants in the meeting held from March 13 to 15 returned to Hyderabad, Nizamabad and other districts between March 17 and 18. The Nizamuddin Markas is a place where entire year people from many states and abroad visit and stay. Mid March an ijtima was organised just ahead of the Lockdown21, which saw thousands in attendance amid the pandemic outbreak.
The number of participants could be several hundreds. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao had told a news conference on Sunday night that in Kothagudem alone 200-300 people who had visited Delhi were identified and kept in isolation.
At that news conference he shared the 'good news' of the recovery of 11 persons who had earlier tested positive for Covid-19 and hoped that the state will be free from the virus in a week but 24 hours later the death of six persons rattled the state authorities.
He had also slammed those accusing the government of hiding the truths about Covid-19 cases. He said though a 74-year-old man died of some other ailment at Hyderabad's Global Hospital on Thursday he was also counted among coronavirus cases as the examination of his body revealed he was positive.
He had also said that those undergoing treatment at various hospitals were stable. "Only one man because of old age and other problems is not stable and even he is not critical," the chief minister had said.
KCR had hoped that by April 7 nearly 26,000 under surveillance would complete their quarantine period and if no new cases were reported the state would be free from scourge of coronavirus.
However, within 24 hours the situation changed dramatically. Of the total six deaths, four were reported from Hyderabad. Two of them died at Gandhi Hospital, where majority of Covid-19 patients were under treatment. A man died at Apollo Hospital. One death each was reported from Nizamabad and Gadwal.
The department has not yet come out with details like whether they had already tested positive or this came to light after their death.
The government had already directed all hospitals to report all the deaths to the health department. Global Hospital had informed the department about the death of a man on Thursday. His body was shifted to Gandhi Hospital, where it was tested positive for Covid-19.
It is likely that the five others may had admitted to hospitals for treatment of other ailments but after their death the officials probed their travel history and on suspicion conducted tests to find that they were Covid-19 positive.