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Nepal detains 18 returning from Nizamuddin Markaz, sends them to quarantine to stop COVID-19 spread

18 Nepali Muslims who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin, Delhi have been placed under quarantine in Saptari district.

On Wednesday, authorities in the Saptari district of Nepal had traced and quarantined 18 persons at Lakshmi Naryan Secondary School. They had attended the religious congregation organised by the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz.

It has recently emerged as the Coronavirus hotspot with several of the attendees being tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

Moreover, about 400 Indian citizens who wanted to return to India, amidst the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, are stranded in the Birgunj area in Parsa owing to the closure of the India-Nepal border. They have been kept at an education faculty building and have been provided with food by the Nepal Police.

In another incident, 13 Indonesians who had arrived in Kathmandu in Nepal from Saptari were sent to quarantine at Godavari Village Resort. They were initially taken to a mosque in Imadole by the cops but soon had to be shifted to the resort that can accommodate 50 people, owing to limited facilities.

The Himalayan nation has reported only 5 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far, but with the Tablighi Jamaat super-spread, Nepal is expected to be hit hard too. The nation had sealed the borders with India and China back on March 23 and had placed the country under a partial lockdown.

Earlier, a shocking audio clip from the Nizamuddin Markaz has emerged where the Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad can be heard mocking the government’s call to close mosques and other religious places in a bid to contain the spread of Chinese coronavirus. The audio was recorded at the Nizamuddin Markaz on 23 March 2020, one day after the Janta Curfew was observed and a day before the country-wide lockdown was announced.

It is notable here that Tablighi Jamaat’s congregations had previously been found to be the Coronavirus super spreader in Malaysia and Pakistan too. Over 16,000 Jamaat members had congregated in Malaysia while over 250,000 had gathered near Lahore in March, spreading the virus as far as Gaza when the infected persons dispersed and travelled.

In what could be termed as a massive effort undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in coordination with states, until now, as many as 9000 Tablighi Jamaat workers and their primary contacts have been traced and placed in quarantine across the country in view of the coronavirus infection. Out of these 9000 people, 1306 are foreign nationals and the rest are Indians.

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