Coronavirus: 24 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, foreign members found violating visa norms

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain (left), Tablighi Jamaat members (right)

Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain informed on Tuesday that as many as 24 people who had attended the religious congregation organised by Tablighi Jamaat at Banglewali Masjid in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area have tested positive for the deadly Wuhan coronavirus as of now. As per reports, the foreigners who were present at the Tablighi Jamaat were in violation of visa rules.

As per policy guidelines of Indian Visa issued by government of India, preaching religious ideologies, making speeches in religious places, distribution of audio-visual display/pamphlets pertaining to religious ideologies is not allowed. All foreigners who attended may be barred, government sources told news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Delhi Minister has also informed that while the Delhi government is not clear on the total number of participants, the number of people who might have taken part in the religious meeting held in Nizamuddin could be between 1500 and 1700. Of these, 1033 people had been evacuated while 334 ha been sent to hospitals. Around 700 people had been kept under quarantine in a government-run facility.

The Delhi Health Minister conceded that the organisers of the Islamic congregation in Nizamuddin had committed a “grave crime”, in light of the enforcement of Disaster Act & Contagious Diseases Act that prohibits the assembly of more than 5 people. He further added that Delhi government has ordered an FIR in this regard.

On Tuesday morning, South Municipal Corporation of Delhi was called to sanitise the area and people were being shifted to hospitals after noting down details. Drones are also being used to monitor activities in Nizamuddin area.

On Monday, 6 people from Telangana who attended a religious gathering at Markaz in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area between March 13 and March 15 had reportedly died of Coronavirus infection. This has taken the death toll in the state from 2 to 8 in just 48 hours.

Around 200 people from the Nizamuddin Dargah and surrounding areas were taken to various hospitals in Delhi on Monday after they showed suspected coronavirus symptoms. As per reports, the area around the Nizamuddin Dargah and the Mosque near it has been cordoned off by Delhi police. Large-scale sanitisation operation is currently underway.

Earlier this month, several hundred people from across India and abroad had attended the Islamic religious conference by the “Tablighi Jamaat” preachers at the Banglewali Masjid, the Mosque near the Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah.

The Mosque reportedly regularly hosts Islamic followers and preachers from all over India and from many nations in the world. The event also saw visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan. On Friday, 6 persons were tested positive for coronavirus in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia
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