When the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced complete lockdwon, sceptics doubted it. The idea of breaking the chain was scoffed at.
But two events, one that happened in the national capital, and another instance which happened in Punjab, prove that why the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the only way to slowdown or possibly stop the exponential spread of Covid-19 infection among people.
The Delhi government had on March 13—exercising powers conferred by the Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19, Regulations, 2020, and the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897—prohibited all sports gatherings, including IPL matches, as well as conferences and seminars having 200 or more people.
But, ignoring this prohibitory orders 1500 people had attended an event at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in Nizamuddin area of the national capital from March 13-15 . Of this, around 250 were foreign nationals.
The Delhi government has described the congregation at the Markaz Tablighi Jamath at Hazrat Nizamuddin as a criminal act that was carried out in violation of prohibitory orders that were already in place in the national capital banning large gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Telangana Chief Minister’s Office said in a tweet, “Six people from Telangana who attended a religious congregation at Markaz in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi from March 13-15 succumbed after they contracted coronavirus. Two died in Gandhi Hospital while one each died in Apollo Hospital, Global Hospital, Nizamabad and Gadwal.”
The state has intensified its efforts to locate all those who returned from the event and the contact trail.
At least one foreign national, a Filipino, has died and 19 foreigners, followers of this Islamic missionary movement, have tested positive for Covid-19 across the country so far.
Of 25 new cases of Covid-19 that Delhi reported on Monday, 18 were from this seminary in Nizamuddin, said a senior official from the state health department. This takes the city’s tally of cases to 97.
Nine Indians who attended – six in Telengana and one each in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and J&K – have died of the disease.
Elsewhere in Punjab, 15,000 people who may have caught the new coronavirus from a Sikh religious leader are under strict quarantine in northern India after the man died of COVID-19.
The 70-year-old preacher, Baldev Singh, had returned from a trip to Europe’s virus epicentre Italy and Germany before he went preaching in more than a dozen villages in Punjab state.
Nineteen people who were in contact with the preacher have already tested positive for the new virus.
The case has sparked one of India’s most serious alerts related to the pandemic, with special food deliveries made to each household under even tighter restrictions than the strict 21-day nationwide stay-at-home order imposed by the government.
The preacher and his two associates – who have also tested positive – ignored self-isolation orders on their return from Europe, and were on their preaching tour until Singh fell ill and died.
The case has stunned India and a popular Punjabi singer based in Canada, Sidhu Moose Wala, released a song about Singh that has been viewed on YouTube more than 2.3 million times in less than two days.
Meanwhile, the Delhi Police on Monday cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin.
Earlier this month, Delhi Government had banned religious, social, cultural and political gatherings as well as protests comprising more than 50 people till March 31 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.