The Union Home Ministry has identified nearly 9,000 people – at least 7,600 Indians and 1,300 foreigners – having links to Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary group that organised a religious congregation in Nizamuddin Markaz (headquarters) in Delhi last month, triggering a serious increase in COVID-19 infection rate across the country.
The Nirzamuddin Markaz and the area around it emerged the largest hotspot for coronavirus in India after several people who attended a gathering at the mosque despite the lockdown from across the country and abroad tested positive for the disease.
According to an NDTV report, 23 states and four Union territories have chipped in to identify the 1,306 members of the organisation from other countries. Of the 1,306, while 1,051 have been quarantined, 21 have tested positive and two have died.
“The contact tracing is still going on but as on April 1, we have managed to identify most of foreign and domestic workers. But it’s a work in progress,” NDTV quoted a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office as saying.
The Tablighi Jamaat, was organised in early March in Banglawali Masjid in Nizamuddin area where the Markaz of the Jamaat is situated. Reports said the Jamaat was attended by thousands of people from across Indian states and also as many as 800 foreigners from Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.
As per government reports, while 2,000 foreigners from 70 countries had arrived in India to attend the Jamaat, 1,000 of them got stuck at Nizamuddin due to the lockdown.
The first sign that the Jamaat could have been a potential hotspot emerged when an Indonesian citizen died of COVID-19 in Telangana.
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So far 10 people who participated in the event have died of coronavirus while 285 have been quarantined as suspected cases.