HYDERABAD: Officials of civil administration and police sealed off Noor Masjid in Wahdat Colony, local headquarters of Tableeghi Jamaat, on Saturday after a member of the Jamaat, a 19-year-old Chinese-origin man tested positive for coronavirus a day before and was admitted to hospital for treatment.
Health officials shifted 19 suspected cases who might have remained in contact with the coronavirus-positive man to Kohsar Latifabad quarantine facility and sent samples of eight of them to laboratory before sealing off the worship place.
Personnel of Rangers and police were deployed outside the mosque where 210 faithful, some of them foreign nationals, were staying during the exercise. The measure had been taken for ‘quarantine’ purposes so that nobody could enter or leave the place, contended Hyderabad SSP Adeel Chandio.
The hospital in-charge Dr Suresh said that a total of 28 people were under observation at the quarantine centre under strict surveillance. The infected Chinese man’s brother and eight other persons were shifted to hospital from Noor Masjid on Friday and of them the eight were asymptomatic while the Chinese national had already tested negative.
Over two dozen held for holding congregational prayers in mosques
More than two dozen people including prayer leaders were picked up in the city on Saturday for offering congregational prayers in different mosques in violation of an official ban on such gatherings inside masjids.
Separate cases were registered against them but they were let off upon submitting surety bond.
Market police picked up 25 persons from three different mosques.
Twenty-three of them were picked up from inside Ibrahim Khalilullah and Sarfaraz Baba mosques and two from outside the Fruit Market mosque after Zuhar prayers. Cantonment police booked Maulana Asad Ali under sections 269 and 188 PPC vide crime No. 24/20 and picked him up from Sohna Sain mosque located behind the SSP Office.
Eleven unidentified persons were also nominated in the FIR. Maulana Ali was later released on personal bond to enable him to seek bail from court.
Another case was registered at the Hali Road police station against Qari Naveed of Jamia Masjid Choothi while Baldia police booked Ghulam Yamin of Qadri Mosque located in Baldia Colony under sections 269 and 188 of the PPC for similar offences.
Three more test positive for virus
Three persons, who had travel history and recently stayed with an influential figure of ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), tested positive for coronavirus here on Saturday, raising number of the virus-infected persons of the district to seven.
After the three confirmed cases were disclosed by the health department, Dawn made inquiries and found that they were guests or friends of the PPP figure and were not residents of Hyderabad though their samples were obtained in Hyderabad a couple of days back.
It was not immediately known where they had been shifted for treatment.
Sindh government’s focal person for coronavirus situation in Hyderabad, Sharjeel Inam Memon, said that he did not have details on the new cases released by the health department. Possibly there might be some confusion about the new cases within the health department, he said.
Reports of suspected patients were being awaited on Saturday but none came. Among the suspected patients was a Tando Mohammad Khan resident admitted to isolation ward of Liaquat University Hospital and eight persons whose samples were obtained at Noor Masjid yesterday.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020