Like in India, one of the major reasons for the sudden rise in positive coronavirus cases in Pakistan is being attributed to Tablighi Jamaat congregation. Similar to the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation, which has caused transmission in India, the annual Tablighi Ijtema congregation in Pakistan is considered as the main source of the spread of the Chinese coronavirus in the country.
According to the reports, lakhs of pilgrims had gathered in Raiwand near Lahore last week amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic resulting in the transmission of the Chinese pandemic among the attendees of the event. It is estimated that nearly 2,50,000 people had congregated in camps near Lahore last week for the five-day festival.
It is being now reported that at least 143 members at Tableeghi Jamaat Headquarters at Raiwind city have tested positive for the Chinese virus in the last 24 hours. Following the scare, thousands of the attendees have been now quarantined in different parts of the country after showing symptoms of Chinese Coronavirus.
Pakistan authorities later placed the entire city of Raiwind under quarantine, shutting down all general and medical stores, and completely restricted the mobility of people after more positive cases reported.
There are reports that the Sindh and Punjab police have picked some members of the Jamaat from the mosques and its Raiwind Markaz, the headquarters of the Pakistani faction of Jamaat and locked up in the police stations in connection with violation of the lockdown instead of quarantining them.
The organisers of the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat had also ignored repeated warnings from the government against such mass congregations. The Pakistani authorities had urged the cancellation of the five-day Tablighi congregation, which was attended by thousands of people from several countries.
“The government’s apprehensions stood true as several Tablighi Jamaat activists have tested positive for coronavirus and they caused the spread of it,” Lahore Deputy Commissioner Danish Afzaal said in a statement. He added the Raiwind Tablighi Jamaat Markaz is presently housing nearly 600 preachers.
Interestingly, while Pakistan says they had warned against Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the mosques in Pakistan have remained open even amidst rising Coronavirus cases.
Tablighi Jamaat members have emerged as the prime suspects among potential coronavirus carriers, not just in Pakistan but in India, Malaysia and Brunei.
In India, the Jamaat has come under severe criticism for defying the lockdown and organising a congregation. The Tablighi Jamaat is considered to be the epicentre of the transmission of the Chinese coronavirus across the country. 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. At least 700 positive cases from Tablighi event has been reported for the last two days and few of them have died.