25 persons from Kerala attended the Tablighi conference in New Delhi

March 31, 2020 04:53 pm | Updated 04:53 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

The Kerala government on Tuesday braced itself to contain a possible spread of COVID-19 from a set of persons who had returned from the Tablighi Jamaat conference at Nizamuddin in New Delhi in early March.

At least 25 persons from Kerala had attended the four-day meeting that later emerged as one of the hubs from which the disease had radiated to outlying States.

The Kerala police have traced ten of the delegates to their homes in Kannur district. One of them is a resident of Wayanad.

The respective district authorities have quarantined them. The remaining attendees are in New Delhi. One of them, a retired college teacher, has died. He is from Pathanamthitta district.

The government has asked the other persons to hunker down in New Delhi. The government there have shifted many of them to hospitals or quarantine centres.

Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose told The Hindu that the State government was “looking into the matter.”

The Kerala police are on overdrive to identify persons the returnees could have inadvertently put at risk. Law enforcers are analysing their mobile phone usage history to retrace their movement and identify the people they could have come into contact with.

Kerala is concerned that scores of persons from nearby Salem, Madurai and Erode districts in Tamil Nadu had stayed at the sprawling Tablighi seminary in New Delhi along with the Keralites. The police said delegates in TN might have been in touch with their neighbours in Kerala.

An official said the delegates had sheltered in mosques in different parts of the country during their journey back from New Delhi. The police were trying to identify the spots.

A senior State police official said religious leaders from Thailand and Indonesia had attended the meeting. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has identified most of them and send advisories to their respective countries.

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