Salem: The Salem police have registered cases against 18 persons including 11 clerics from Indonesia, who came down to India some weeks back and seven of their helpers, several of whom have tested positive for Covid-19 novel coronavirus, for various legal violations when a medical emergency is in force.
The 11 'Ulemas' from Indonesia who had come down to Salem on March 11, had visited some Mosques in the town for expounding the Koran.
They then came under the state scan, as a large number of persons who attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in New Delhi later and returned to Tamil Nadu have so far been the single largest source of a large number of patients who tested positive for the virus.
Police sources said the cases against the 18 persons, which included 11 Indonesian clerics who came under tourist visas, one of their helpers from Chennai, four local guides in Salem and a Mosque Mutavalli and a Mosque administrator in Salem, have been booked under various sections of different Acts including the Foreigners Act, IPC, Public Health Act, National Disaster Management Act and the Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act.
All 18 persons including the 11 Indonesians who had been screened by the medical personnel were admitted to the Mohan Kumaramangalam Government hospital for suspected coronavirus symptoms.
Of them six including five Indonesian Islamic clerics had tested positive for the virus, following which health department personnel brought all their contact persons under surveillance and also isolated them, besides spraying disinfectants in all the five Mosques the 'Ulemas' had visited in Salem.
The police action followed a complaint from the Salem town VAO to the Kitchipalayam police station that the 'Ulemas' and the others had violated rules of public health safety by going about in groups and in not following the social distance norm in the wake of the restrictions imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19 virus, thereby endangering public health.
All the 18 persons booked are currently under hospital treatment, police sources added....