With a 57-year-old ex-BSF jawan tested positive for coronavirus from the northeast on Sunday, the total number of cases in this region went up to 30, including 26 in Assam, ministers and officials said.
"One more COVID-19 positive case from Cachar District (in southern Assam) has been confirmed, taking the total count in Assam to 26. The patient took part in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi," Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in a tweet.
Of the 30 positive cases in four northeastern states - Assam (26), Manipur (2), Mizoram (1) and Arunachal Pradesh (1) -- 27, took part in Delhi congregation, while a Manipuri girl and a Mizoram man had tested positive last month after they returned from the UK and the Netherlands, respectively.
Another 52-year-old Assam trader of Kamrup (Metro) district also infected with the nCoV as his swab samples tested positive. The latest positive case for nCoV in Assam is that of the former BSF jawan, who voluntarily retired from service in 2007 to do the religious activity, now being treated in Silchar Medical College and Hospital.
Besides, 30 positive cases in the northeastern region, four persons from Assam and two people from Tripura, who attended the congregation, have tested positive for COVID-19 and they are in northern India hospitals.
Sarma told the media in Guwahati that out of the 1,529 people's swab samples, including 812 Nizamuddin attendees, collected so far -- 1,308 have tested negative, 26 tested positive and remaining test reports are awaited.
Quoting central government communications, Sarma had earlier said that over 550 to 600 people from Assam had attended the Tablighi meet.
"I am very angry and frustrated as, despite our repeated appeals, none of the participants reported to the authority. Why are you hiding your cases?" Sarma told the reporters.
The minister along with other ministers met Tablighi Jamaat leaders in Guwahati on Saturday and requested them to share the complete list of attendees to test their samples or to provide quarantine.
In Agartala, Tripura Health Secretary Debashish Basu said that two people from Tripura, who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, have tested positive for novel coronavirus and now they are in a quarantine center at Bikaner in Rajasthan.
"Eleven people from Tripura's Boxanagar areas (western Tripura) attended the Tablighi Jamaat event. After attending the meet all the eleven people went to Rajasthan. The officials of the Rajasthan government verbally informed us that two of the eleven people have tested positive for novel coronavirus," Basu told the media.
According to different official sources, at least 800 people from several northeastern states, mostly from Assam, had either attended or were in the vicinity of the Tablighi congregation, forcing all seven states to launch an all-out search to identify and test these persons. The attendees' family members and the people they came in close contact with are also being examined or sent to quarantine.
Tripura Health Secretary also said that swab samples of 50 people who attended the Tablighi meet or went to the Nizamuddin area, have tested negative. Three northeastern states -- Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Tripura -- are yet to report any positive coronavirus case.