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New Delhi, April 18, 2020
As many as 31 people, including 26 members of an extended family, in Jahangirpuri have tested positive for Covid-19. Among these 26 members of the extended family, six are children.
With this sudden spurt in new coronavirus cases, Block C in Jahangirpuri has emerged as a major hotspot of the viral infection in the national capital. Delhi has so far reported 1,707 Covid-19 cases and 42 deaths.
The area has been marked as a containment zone. Two minors, aged six and nine, are the youngest members of the extended family to be infected with the virus, while the other four children are below 15 years of age.
The local authorities had sealed Block C in Jahangirpuri on April 10 after a woman of the family died few days back. Her reports later confirmed that she had contracted the deadly virus.
The area has congested streets -- row of houses and narrow lanes -- making it extremely difficult for rescue vehicles to enter and exit.
District Magistrate Deepak Shinde told IANS, "It is already a containment area. We had taken samples of the close contacts. Random samples were also taken, which, however, returned negative. The family members who were in close contact have tested positive and they have been sent to a quarantine facility in Narela. All of them are under observation and are asymptomatic. We will now map who were in close contact with these family members and they will also be tested."
Earlier during the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had confirmed that 26 members of the extended family had tested positive.
But the number of positive cases in the area has jumped to 31 now. Health officials have since started an intensive check-up drive in the area even as it is still not known how the family contracted the infection.
Kejriwal said that people in the area kept on roaming on the streets and bylanes despite authorities sealing the locality. He said that some even visited their relatives living nearby.
The Chief Minister appealed to the people to strictly observe the lockdown guidelines and not venture out of their homes. He said that the area has since been sanitised.
The infected people are said to be first or secondary contacts of an old woman who died on April 5 due to the virus, after which the area was marked as a containment zone.
According to the locals, many people had gathered at the funeral of the old woman. Around half a dozen women -- who have now tested positive -- were said to be involved in washing the deceased woman's body and her face. These women further infected their children.
All these women were quarantined after the deceased woman's coronavirus positive status was made known. Many of the women who had participated in the funeral have tested positive for coronavirus.
With addition of three more containment zones on Saturday, the number of such zones in the national capital has gone up to 71. The new containment zones are Israel Camp (Rangpuri Pahadi), Budh Nagar and EA block in Inder Puri.
"No one is allowed to enter or go out of Covid-19 hotspots. The essential items will be supplied with the help of police and other state institutions," said Kejriwal.