Tabligh Jamaat meet: Over 300 hospitalised with Covid-19 signs; more being tracked

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 31, 2020 Published on March 31, 2020

People who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation earlier this month at Nizamuddin West, New Delhi, board a bus to be taken to a hospital for coronavirus screening.

So far 1,203 Tabligh Jamaat workers. who were part of a global religious congregation, Nizammudin Markaz, in New Delhi, have been screened, after Telangana reported Covid-19 infection among workers who returned to the State on March 21, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated on Tuesday.

The Ministry said that 303 of them had symptoms of Covid-19 and were referred to different hospitals in Delhi. The Ministry is yet to clarify how many of these have tested positive.

“Rest of them have been moved to different quarantine centres at Narela, Bakkarwala and Sultanpuri. This process will continue to move every Tabligh Jamaat worker out of Nizamuddin Markaz,” MHA stated.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that at least 24 of these workers have been confirmed positive for Covid-19. As on March 21, about 1,745 persons were staying at Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz. Of these, 216 were foreigners and 1,530 Indians.

The Home Ministry also stated that these workers are spread out across the country and as on on March 21, close to 824 Tabligh Jamaat workers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan were in different parts of the country for missionary work.

Also, around 2,100 Indian workers were touring different parts of the country for missionary work. The Ministry said they are being traced and screened.

Over 13 persons from Andaman and Nicobar Islands had also visited Markaz, and ten including nine pilgrims were found positive on the islands after their return on March 26. “Other six natives have been isolated in Delhi as they could not travel back,” said Avijit Roy, deputy health director, A&N administration told Businessline.

Markaz Nizammudin administration in its statement has said that due to sudden cancellation of rail services across the country on March 21, a large group of visitors got stuck in the Markaz premises. On March 22, ‘Janata Curfew,’ was observed and Delhi then was locked down on March 21 by the state government, so visitors could not avail road transport. 1500 visitors however left using Markaz transport. On March 24, Delhi police issued closing orders for Markaz when thousand pilgrims were still stuck there. Markaz has also requested for vehicle passes to send back most pilgrims back home, but that permission is pending in sub-district magistrate’s office.

“During this entire episode, Markaz Nizamuddin never violated any provision of law, and always tried to act with compassion and reason towards the visitors who came to Delhi from different states,” it has stated.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare put the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at 1,251, a spike of 227 cases in the past 24 hours. While 102 have been cured, 32 have died. This data of March 30 is yet to be updated by the Health Ministry.

Published on March 31, 2020

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