Imphal , April 1
Based on an official source, Imphal Times yesterday reported that among those who had attended the religious Congregation being held at Delhi’s Nizamuddin between March 13 to 15, around 462 people are suspected to have attended the religious Congregation, among which 85 persons are suspected to be from Manipur. Soon after the publication of the report, the COVID -19 Central Control Room in a press clarification had stated that the report is incorrect. The clarification further said that the State Government through the Central Control Room in Collaboration with the DCs and SPs of the districts has actively traced these persons. It also added that 39 (thirty Nine) are still outside Manipur. It said the Government has traced 14 (fourteen) persons who were linked to the said religion conference. Out of these 3 (three) persons have been taken for testing and the remaining 11 (Eleven) person will also be screened. There is no mention of when these traced persons have returned to Manipur.
Imphal Times re-conducted fresh investigation in connection with our news report published yesterday under the heading “Around 85 persons from Manipur suspected to attend the religious congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin”.
Before the publication of the news-report, Imphal Times Contacted “the COVID -19 Central Control Room” 0385-2411668 at around afternoon and we have recorded the conversation. The first person picking up the called refuse to verify what we have been seeking but later passed on the call to another official who said that a list circulated containing the name of those persons from North East was not official. When further enquired he informed our reporter that the government suspects that nearly 80 people may have attended the religious congregation from the state of Manipur and they are tracing their whereabouts using all means.
What is ironic is that the COVID -19 Central Control Room flatly denied the Imphal Times report saying that the number of the suspected person who had attended the religious Congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin is around 85 and terms it incorrect. Maybe the government authority may consider the clarification to prevent panic among the people. But then some of the Civil society leaders started giving clarification through media and social networking sites saying that the number of people from Manipur attending the religious Congregation at Delhi’s Nizamuddin stands at 10 while one person has not returned to Manipur. Those religious leaders are talking based on their records as those attending should first register to their religious authority.
Now, when Imphal Times team investigated the issue, the report we published stands true.
The religious Congregation being held at Delhi’s Nizamuddin held from March 13 to 15 and over 2000 plus people including clerics from foreign countries also attended. The concern government authority who has been tracking those people attending the congregation through mobile phone traced that from March 12 till March 22, 456 mobile users from North-East states at the Nizamuddin area where the religious congregation took place. Among these mobile users, 7 (seven) are reported from Meghalaya and 85 ( Eightyfive) people are from Manipur. May be the name and address may be a mismatch but the 85 cell phone users are confirmed to be from Manipur, an official source confirmed.
Imphal Times found out that not every one of them returns to Manipur, but at least half would have already entered the state.
According to medical experts, as most of them were in the COVID-19 hotspot from March 13 till March 23, these people are likely to show symptomatic or fall sick by April first week or April Second Week, as the incubation period is 2 to 3 weeks.
If the persons who had attended remain hidden and if religious leaders try to protect their stand and conceal the reality, by May the pandemic Coronavirus will cross phase-4 and Community transmission which may cause a catastrophe in the state of Manipur which does not have enough medical equipments.
The report is not to panic the people but an attempt to make sure that the State Health Department instead of concealing the truth for the appeasement of some religious leaders or CSOs act tough to save Manipur.