Even as the authorities are struggling to ascertain the extent of damage caused by the mass congregation by the rabid Islamist organisation Tablighi Jamaat at Markaz Nizamuddin, now the Mumbai Police probe into the death of a 56-year old man in Dharavi, who died of COVID-19 on April 1, has revealed that he had hosted 10 Tablighi Jamaat members in the last week of March.
According to the Mumbai Police, “Prima Facie, the man was infected by one of the visitors.” adding that the Jamaat members stayed in the deceased’s one of the vacant houses in Dharavi during the duration from March 22 to March 24 and later visited him before heading for Kerala.
A police official from Shahu Nagar police station in Mumbai stated that they have informed about the Jamaat members to the Kerala government for them to trace, isolate and test them. Confirming the development, Deputy Commissioner of Police Niyati Thaker said that an investigation has been ordered in the matter about the connection of the death with Tablighi Jamaat. The police have also been involved in tracing the deceased man’s contacts.
Besides, a list of 15 immediate high-risk contacts has been prepared by the city’s Municipal corporation which includes the dead man’s wife, his four sons, two daughters, immediate neighbours, the local doctor who he had consulted and two of the staff at the doctor’s clinic. They all have been tested for the novel coronavirus. The test results of the high-risk contacts are still awaited.
Dharavi has been put under close observation after 3 cases of the coronavirus infection emerged from the region. Many buildings, shops in the neighbourhood have locked themselves to keep all the visitors out.
The cases of Coronavirus in Maharashtra have skyrocketed lately. A total of 490 positive cases, including foreign nationals, have emerged in Maharashtra, making it the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases nationally. Mumbai, the financial capital of the country and Maharashtra’s capital has been in the grips of the deadly contagion, with 47 fresh cases surfacing on Friday. As many as four people have died of the contagion in Mumbai and the officials are afraid that the city might fast devolve into another coronavirus hotspot like Delhi after Tablighi Jamaat connection with the Dharavi death was discovered.
Last 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. Many cases of coronavirus deaths have now been traced to the Muslim event at the Banglewali Mosque which had seen a large gathering. Muslim clerics of Tablighi Jamaat organised a congregation in violation of the government’s lockdown orders, providing a conducive environment for the novel coronavirus to proliferate. As per conservative estimates, the congregation organised by Tablighi Jamaat was attended by more than 2000 people, both from various parts of the country as well as from abroad. Authorities are now scrambling to trace and identify the event attendees, who are believed to be “high-risk” carriers of the infection, to avert a snowballing coronavirus crisis in the country.