Seven Indonesian nationals who travelled from Delhi to Karimnagar in a train to attend the Islamic evangelical event of Ijtema have been tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus. The Islamic event organisers had allowed them to stay at a local madarsa during their stay in Karimnagar without even screening them.
According to the reports, on Wednesday evening, the Directorate of Public Health announced that seven more patients, all Indonesian nationals who were travelling on the same train, were tested positive.
The Indonesian nationals came to Karimnagar from Delhi on March 13 in a train. During the journey, they were accompanied by three Indians at Karimnagar. These Indonesian nationals had come to Karimnagar to attend a religious programme and were staying at a mosque.
The Indonesian nationals had approached the police, who asked them to get medical certificates and sent them to a local hospital. One person was detected with coronavirus symptoms. However, they continued with their Ijtema event, where they apparently went about meeting people in some localities in the town.
With one of them testing positive for coronavirus, the district administration has now launched efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in areas where the Indonesians stayed and visited.
Special bulletin-Health, Medical and Family Welfare Department, Govt. of Telangana – Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19). pic.twitter.com/Yxtb1ZG3ko— IPRDepartment (@IPRTelangana) March 18, 2020
The infected Indonesian nationals are currently under isolation at Gandhi Hospital, Hyderabad. Interestingly, while the Ijtemas have a faith revival element, what were the Indonesian Muslim’s got to do with a congregation in a Tier-2 or 3 towns in the interiors of India.
Reportedly, the first Indonesian who tested positive was a 58-year-old man. His test results were confirmed on Tuesday. The 58-year-old man already had flu symptoms when he boarded the rain, which worsened after he reached Karimnagar by road from Ramagundem.
Telangana Health Minister Eatala Rajender said the 10-member team stayed in a Karimnagar mosque for two days. The 58-year-old man along with others have been isolated at a government hospital on Monday and their samples were collected for tests.
The Health Minister added that officials have identified passengers in the coach who had travelled more than 1,400 km with the Indonesians. The health staff is tracking people from Telangana and they will be isolated or quarantined soon.
Tablighi Jamaat and Ijtema
Tablighi Ijtema is a 3-day ‘show of strength’ event of Muslims which is all about moral reform of individuals and is often described as ‘making Muslims true Muslims’. Tablighi Jamaat, of which Tablighi Ijtema is an integral part, is a global Islamic missionary movement which urges Muslims to return to the way Islam was practiced during the time of Prophet Muhammad. The focus is on rituals, dress and personal behaviour and is considered one of the most influential Islamic religious movements of 20th century. It has become world’s second largest Muslim congregation after the Islamic holy pilgrimage of Hajj.