Police Using Cellphone Data To Trace People Linked To Delhi Mosque Event

Coronavirus India: It is believed that 9,000 people attended the event, held in Delhi last month, that set off a surge of coronavirus cases in India

The number of coronavirus cases in the country has crossed 3000.

Highlights

  • It is believed that 9,000 people attended the Delhi mosque event
  • Many of them travelled across India, setting off a surge in infections
  • The total number of coronavirus cases in the country has crossed 3000
New Delhi:

All those who attended the religious gathering in Delhi - hosted by Tablighi Jamaat -- or were in the vicinity, are being traced through cellphone data, sources in the Delhi Police told NDTV. The Crime Branch has been investigating the case as it was identified as a hotspot for the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. More than 1000 people - around a third of the coronavirus cases in the country - have been found to be linked to the gathering, which was attended by a large number of foreign nationals.

It is believed that 9,000 people attended the event, held in March, defying the government's message of social distancing. Many of them then travelled across the country, setting off a surge in infections.

The police are checking all those people whose GPS location in March signalled their presence in that area for several days, sources said.

The Delhi Police is being assisted by the police in other states in the mapping process.

Currently, contact tracing, testing and home quarantine are the main modes of containing the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the last week, contact tracing is being conducted on a war footing across most states to locate people who attended the event and those who have been directly in contact with them.

A sergeant in the Indian Air Force has also been traced through this. He and those in contact with him have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. 

Last week, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the police would cellphone data in their investigations.

Religious activity by foreign nationals on tourist visa is not allowed and the Union Home Ministry has promised action in the matter.  More than 900 foreigners have been blacklisted so far. Sources said the ministry is being briefed on the matter daily.