COVID-19: 36 at Swamibagh Ashram in Dhaka test positive

Iskcon of Swamibag, Dhaka, Bangladesh under lockdown. Photo Courtesy: India Today

Enamul Hafiz Latifee reports,

A temple of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) at Swamibag in the city was put under lockdown where more than 100 people including priests, officials, and devotees reside after 36 of its followers tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday, 25 April 2020. This has left the authorities baffled as to how the members of the temple, which was closed for outsiders, contracted the deadly virus.


“Samples from 36- followers and priests were collected on Friday and all of them found positive for the virus on Saturday,” Sheikh Aminul Islam, Inspector (investigation), Gendaria Police Station, told UNB on Sunday, 26 April 2020.

Mr. Shah Iftekharul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Wari Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), also confirmed the matter.

He said 36 people from the temple were tested for novel coronavirus after they started showing symptoms such as cold and cough. Their second test will be carried out on Monday, 27 April 2020.


“No one was allowed into the temple. I don’t understand how so many people have been infected given so much care was taken,” Gendaria Police Station OC Saju Miah said after the test results from the government’s disease control agency IEDCR came on Saturday.


‘Swamibag Ashram’, locally known as Iskcon Temple, went under lockdown on Saturday, 25 April 2020, morning, he added. Inspector Aminul also said police are collecting information of the infected members of the organization and they will be tested again soon.


All of the infected are being treated inside the temple and they will be transferred to hospital, if necessary, in consultation with the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), he added.

Quoting Iskcon Priests, Inspector Aminul, said they restricted the movement of general people inside the temple as soon as the government declared general holidays.

Someone of the Iskcon members might have got infected with the virus before that, he said.


Earlier, the government restricted mass gatherings at all religious institutions, while the Islamic Foundation gave various instructions to all mosques of the country to contain the spread of the virus from there.

Bangladesh has so far confirmed 145 deaths and 5,416 coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, the government extended the general holidays until 05 May 2020 while the education institutions were also announced to be closed until then.


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