As per Health Ministry data, the number of Wuhan Virus cases in India has risen to 195 with the cases in the Southern state of Telangana reaching 13—till Wednesday. Among the carriers of the virus in the state has been a group of Indonesian Islamic preachers who traveled all the way from Indonesia to Delhi and then Telangana.
Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajendar while addressing the media said that the group of Indonesian preachers landed in New Delhi from Jakarta on 9 March. Media reports further elaborated that the 13-people group arrived in Karimnagar on 14 March from Ramagundam and spent the night at a mosque. It is being claimed that they did not have any interaction with the locals and prepared their own food and slept in an earmarked room allotted to them.
The railway police said that the group of preachers traveled from Delhi to Ramagundam in Sampark Kranti Express (12708) on March 13 in the S9 coach.
The Directorate of Public Health has announced that seven new cases of novel coronavirus have emerged from this group of preachers. One of them travelled across Karimnagar for at least three days and was tested positive on Tuesday. The group was accompanied by three Indians and they are also under quarantine at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
Interestingly, the group had got reports from a private hospital initially, but the police insisted on them undergoing the tests at a government facility. Special branch police, who found the foreign nationals in the town, brought them to the district headquarters hospital, where one elderly person showed symptoms such as cough, cold and fever, typical to that of Wuhan Virus. He was immediately sent off to Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, some local reports claimed that 20 other Indonesian preachers were also in Telangana and police were out in search of them.
The Indonesian preachers had come to India, particularly Telangana, to teach Muslims of the mosque they had chosen in the town. As part of the Tablighi objective, they planned to propagate their religion across towns.
The Indonesian preachers belong to the same Tablighi Jamaat, which had organized the fateful four-day Muslim gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Nearly two-third of the cases in Malaysia ever since have emanated from this gathering. The event was held from February 27 to March 1 and has emerged as the epicenter and hotbed of Wuhan Virus infections that has spread to the whole of Southeast Asia.
The event was attended by 16,000 people, including 1,500 foreigners. A close look at the Social media posts shows that hundreds of worshippers were praying shoulder-to-shoulder inside the compound. Being so close to one another would have led to the virus spreading rapidly.
The packed gathering, where guests had to take shuttle buses to sleep at other venues, was attended by nationals from dozens of countries, including Canada, Nigeria, India, and Australia, according to an attendee list posted on social media.
When the reports came in last Brunei had confirmed 50 cases linked to the mosque gathering, out of a total of 56 cases. Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia, which had nearly 700 of their citizens attend the poorly planned event, are all investigating. Singapore has announced five linked to the event, whereas Cambodia and Thailand have reported 13 and two cases respectively.
With the second wave of Wuhan Virus already in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday addressed the nation and said that the situation is serious and every citizen needs to pitch in with individual efforts. The third wave in layman terms refers to the community outbreak of the communicable disease of COVID-19. To avoid such a cataclysmic event, social distancing is the best measure for those non-infected whereas the infected should report to the hospitals and quarantine themselves.