Tamil Nadu's COVID-19 count soars as Tablighi link looms

'Tablighi Jamaat cluster' doubles Tamil Nadu's COVID-19 patients count, 234 cases so far
Health workers spray disinfectant on roads as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, during the nationwide lockdown, in Chennai, Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Chennai: Tamil Nadu on Wednesday announced 110 new Coronavirus positive cases - nearly double than the number a day before - across 15 districts, taking its infected count to 234, with almost all the new patients being attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi.

According to the state Health Department, out of the 110 Coronavirus positive cases, 108 people had attended the religious event.

The Wednesday number is nearly double that of the 57 new cases reported on Tuesday.

It is the 'Tablighi Jamaat' cluster that has contributed to the large number of infections in the state since about 1,500 persons from Tamil Nadu had attended the conference that was held last month in Delhi.

The Tablighi Jamaat's Markaz in Nizamuddin West has emerged as a hotspot of coronavirus, following which a major area has been sealed and an FIR lodged against its cleric for violating government orders.

The Tamil Nadu government is taking serious efforts to trace and locate all the persons who had attended the conference.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Wednesday said about 515 persons from the state who had returned back after attending the Delhi conference have been identified and screened.

Talking to reporters here, he said 1,500 persons from Tamil Nadu had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference.

According to Health Department officials, about 1,100 persons had returned from the conference, but only 515 persons have been identified and traced.

On Tuesday, 50 persons in Tamil Nadu who had attended and returned from the conference tested positive for Coronavirus.

Palaniswami requested the remaining conference attendees in the state to self-report to the Health Department officials for medical screening.

He said many patients have been cured and if the disease is found out early, then they can be cured in the hospital itself.

Palaniswami said the government has the list of persons who had come from overseas and they are being screened.

Muslim leaders and political parties have also appealed to the conference returnees to self report to Health Department.

"We and the leaders of the community have appealed to the people who have returned from Delhi to report and get themselves screened," MMK leader M H Jawahirullah told IANS.

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