The chief of Faisalabad Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan died on Thursday after contracting coronavirus. The 69-year-old Maulana Suhaib Rumi was the head of the Faisalabad chapter of Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan.
According to the reports, the Muslim cleric had attended the Tablighi gathering in Lahore’s Raiwaind last month. Five members of his family, including two grandchildren, are also infected with the coronavirus.
His family members have been kept in an isolation centre in Faisalabad, some 150 kms from Lahore.
Tablighi Jamaat – The epicenter of coronavirus in Pakistan
According to the Punjab health department, over 1,100 Tablighi Jamaat members have been tested positive for coronavirus in the Punjab province. A large number of clerics who had visited the Islamic congregation in early March in its headquarters in Raiwand near Lahore were later tracked down across the country and placed in quarantine centres.
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 large scale transmission in India, the annual Tablighi Ijtema congregation in Pakistan is also considered to be the main source of the spread of the Chinese coronavirus in the country.
Markaz despite Pakistan government warning
Reportedly, lakhs of pilgrims had gathered in Raiwand near Lahore last month 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 for the five-day festival.
However, Pakistan government had claimed that it had warned against five-day congregation but the Tablighi Jamaat went ahead with its annual congregation in Raiwind, Lahore and later transmitted the Chinese virus across the country.
With Tablighi Jamaat emerging as the epicenter of the coronavirus in the country, the Pakistan authorities had to place the entire city of Raiwind under quarantine, shutting down all general and medical stores, and completely restricted the mobility of people.
Tablighi Jamaatis- coronavirus carriers across the world
Tablighi Jamaat members have emerged as the prime suspects among potential coronavirus carriers, not just in Pakistan but in India, Malaysia and Brunei also.
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. Later they were also found hiding in various places to avoid getting tested and quarantined and had attacked medical teams who went to check them. Jamaat members kept in hospitals and quarantine centres also misbehaved with medical staff, spat on doctors, and harassed nurses.