The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today said there were about 1,746 people staying in Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz as of March 21, the area that has become the site that became the latest hotspot for the outbreak of coronavirus in India.
Of these, 216 were foreigners and 1,530 were Indians. Additionally, about 824 foreigners had been engaged in Tableegh activities in various parts of the country, confirmed MHA.
“Details of these 824 foreigners were shared on March 21 with the police of states for getting them medically screened and quarantining them. On March 28, states were advised to collect names of Indian Tableegh Jamaat workers to get them medically screened and quarantined.”
“So far, about 2,137 such persons have been identified in different states. They are being medically examined and quarantined. This process is still on and more such people would be identified and located,” confirmed the MHA.
Details of these 824 foreigners were shared on March 21 with police of states for getting them medically screened & quarantining them. On March 28, states were advised to collect names of Indian Tabligh Jamaat workers to get them medically screened & quarantine them: MHA https://t.co/SPyU5a7JNk— ANI (@ANI) March 31, 2020
Earlier in the day, the Home Ministry had said that the foreign Islamic preachers who visited India on a tourist visa but attended the Islamic religious conference organised by the “Tablighi Jamaat” are in violation of visa rules and almost 800 such Indonesian Islamic preachers, who attended the event, may now be blacklisted for flouting the visa rules.
Meanwhile, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, briefing the nation on the ongoing Coronavirus situation in Delhi in the light of the Nizamuddin Markaz event revealed that out of the 1538 people were evacuated from Nizamuddin Markaz, 441 have symptoms of COVID-19 and 1107 under quarantine. While 24 cases have tested positive, the others’ results are awaited.
He furthered that the local transmission is under control in Delhi, however, it is possible that many positive cases can come up because of the Markaz event. “Corona’s local transmission is under control in Delhi. As per the reports we are not in the stage of community transmission,” Kejriwal said.
He said no community transmission case has been recorded in the national capital.
“We have analysed 97 cases including 24 cases from Markaz, 41 foreign travellers, 22 close relatives of foreign travellers. The situation is under control, there is no community transmission,” he said.
Kejriwal made the remark at a time when twenty-four people have tested positive for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) while seven died in the national capital of India following a mass gathering of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers at a religious event which was held at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in Nizamuddin here.
Around 8,000 people from across the country attended a gathering between 13-15 March at the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid, the headquarters of the “Tablighi Jamaat” in Nizamuddin area of south Delhi. Many cases of coronavirus deaths have now been traced to the Muslim event at the Banglewali Mosque which had seen a large gathering. The Mosque is the global centre for the Tablighi network and the origin of the Tablighi Jamaat, as per Wikipedia.
The Mosque reportedly regularly hosts Islamic followers and preachers from all over India and from many nations in the world. From here, preachers are sent to Mosques all over India.
On March 29 (Sunday), around 50-70 people, who were hiding in the mosque, were taken to LNJP hospital as they showed COVID-19 symptoms. 24 have been tested positive.
On March 30 (Monday) it was again reported that as many as 200 people from the Nizamuddin Dargah and surrounding areas were taken to various hospitals in Delhi 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.
Now, a medical camp has been set up in the area and samples are being tested. Drones have been deployed to maintain strict vigilance over movements. As per reports, over 2000 people in the area are now under quarantine.
The sheer number of gatherers at the religious event among coronavirus suspected cases is a cause of worry because not only have they travelled across Indian before the lockdown kicked in, but also the larger possibility of contact transmission all over India.