About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts who attended a religious event held at the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month – that later emerged as an infection hotspot – have been quarantined as of Thursday, the home ministry said, according to PTI.
Thousands of people had visited the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat, who organised the event, in a narrow winding Delhi lane last month, to participate in the religious congregation. As many as seven people – one from Kashmir and six from Telangana – died of Covid-19 in the days following the congregation.
At a daily press briefing, Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the home ministry, said that out of about 2,000 such members of the event in Delhi, 1,804 have been shifted to quarantine centres. Another 334 symptomatic persons have been admitted to hospitals. India has so far reported 53 deaths from 2,069 Covid-19 cases.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that out of 2,346 people who were evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz, 1810 have been quarantined. Another 536 of them were admitted to different hospitals in the city. “All of them are being tested, because of which, it is possible the number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi may rise in the coming days,” Kejriwal said.
Delhi has reported 219 coronavirus cases and four deaths as of Thursday evening, he said. “This includes 108 people who attended the event at the Nizamuddin markaz. Two of them have died.”
The police in Uttar Pradesh have arrested nine clerics who went into hiding after attending the Tablighi Jamaat’s congregation. The clerics, who belong to Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha city, had been hiding in a madrassa in Shravasti district after they returned from Delhi on March 13. The Uttar Pradesh Police also said passports of eight people from Iran, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom, who attended the religious gathering in Delhi, have been seized.
In Himachal Pradesh, 190 people who attended the religious gathering were identified, traced and quarantined on Thursday, PTI reported. HP Director General of Police Sitaram Mardi said 167 were already put in quarantine on Wednesday.
The highest number of people were traced in Baddi at 73, followed by Una where 35 people were quarantined, the police said. In Sirmaur, 23 people were traced, while ten each were identified in Kangra and Chamba. Another four participants were put into isolation in Mandi. “Besides this, 17 people from the state who attended the congregation have been quarantined in Delhi,” the police chief added.
The Tripura government on Thursday quarantined 32 people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, along with 40 members of their families, PTI reported. “Of the 72 people, 33 were tested at the Covid -19 examination centre in the Agartala Government Medical College and Hospital,” Nodal officer for coronavirus in Tripura Deep Debbarma said. “However, none of them tested positive. The test results of the remaining 39 are yet to come.”
A total of 7,070 people in the state have been put in quarantine as of Thursday. Out of these, 1,646 have completed their quarantine period, he added.
The Arunachal Pradesh Police on Thursday traced 12 persons from Lohit district who were present at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month, PTI reported. “Of these, four were traced in Itanagar, two from Naharlagun and one was found in Nirjuli district. Another five persons were traced in Laluk in North Lakhimpur district of Assam,” Capital Superintendent of Police Tumme Amo said. “The individuals have been taken to Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences for necessary tests to be conducted.”
Meanwhile, in Goa, 46 persons who were also present at the religious event were identified and put in quarantine, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said. However, none of them are from the state, he added. “We don’t know why have they come to Goa. Their [test] reports will come tomorrow [Friday]. Search for more attendees is still on.”
On Wednesday, Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Kandhlawi put out an audio message, saying he has put himself in self quarantine at an undisclosed location on a doctor’s advice. The message came after the Delhi Police registered a first information report against the preacher and others members of the outfit under Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, for organising a congregation amid the coronavirus outbreak.
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As Scroll.in reported previously, thousands of Indians and hundreds of foreigners had attended the conference that took place on March 9 and 10 in the densely populated Nizamuddin area. The conference was organised by the Tablighi Jamaat preachers at the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in Delhi. An Islamic evangelical organisation, the Jamaat, an offshoot of the Deobandi movement, has its presence in several parts of India and countries in South Asia and South-East Asia.
This year so far, nearly 2,100 foreign visitors had come to India for Tablighi activities, and as of March 21, about 824 of them were conducting their activities in the country, the ministry said. The government claimed it had shared details of all these workers with the police in states on March 21 for the purpose of screening and quarantine after some Covid-19 cases were found among them in Telangana.
Additionally, there were about 1,746 persons staying in the mosque as on March 21, including 216 foreigners, the ministry said. Besides, about 2,137 Indian workers have been identified across the country who were conducting the group’s activities, and they are being medically examined and quarantined, the ministry said. The Centre has asked police in states to trace the movement of all such workers.