The entire world is dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic by imposing lockdown and adopting aggressive quarantine measures. In India, while the country has been under a strict lockdown and aggressive quarantine measures are being adopted, the growth in cases came primarily after the Tablighi Jamaat congregation which led to thousands of new positive cases connected to the Delhi Markaz. After weeks of quarantining and manhunts to find hiding Tablighi Jamaat members hiding in various mosques, India stands at a precarious position where several missing Tablighi Jamaat members could spurt another wave of Coronavirus infections.
As Hundreds of them are still missing, the Tablighi Jamaat members are proving to be quite the headache for Intelligence Agencies and the police of various states and even the central government.
A report in India Today has claimed that hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members are still missing and are untraceable. These members are being tracked and the agencies are attempting to find them. The Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz in March had travelled to various states and infected several other people leading to a Coronavirus spurt in the country.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, over 4,291 positive cases have been linked to Tablighi Jamaat members in 23 states of the country. Over 40,000 have been quarantined at various facilities across states.
According to the India Today report, in various states, 40-50 Tablighi Jamaat members of those who came in contact with them are missing in Maharashtra, around 25 to 30 are untraceable in Uttar Pradesh, 20 to 30 being searched in Bihar, 20 to 25 in missing in Tamil Nadu and 15 to 20 are untraceable in Karnataka.
It is now being reported that the number of missing Tablighi Jamaat members may well be over 200, added to that, the people they may have come in contact with could result in the second wave of Coronavirus positive cases in the country unless they are traced and quarantined.
Reportedly, since the Tablighi Jamaat members have switched their phone off, the police are trying to trace tower records and phone data to track the missing members. Local informants have also been activated by the police to find Tablighis who have been hiding. Community leaders have been roped in to convince masjid trustees to cooperate with the police.
Number of missing Tablighi Jamaat members probably far more than 200
The suspicion, however, is, that the number of missing Tablighi Jamaat members missing could be far greater than just 200. It was reported only two days ago that 284 members of Tablighi Jamaat may be missing in Kerala alone.
Kerala was the first affected state in the country to be affected by the Chinese pandemic. In total, the state has reported 408 cases, with 288 recoveries and three deaths. However, the state police now fear that some of these missing 284 Tablighi members of the total 1,311 from Kerala could be carriers and infect much more people in the state.
The Kerala police have been trying to hunt the Tablighi Jamaat attendees ever since the outbreak continued to spread in late March. The authorities were worried after call records suggested 1,311 people from the state were in the Nizamuddin area, nearly a third of the participants.
The Tablighi Jamaat Markaz that turned into Coronavirus super-spreader
The Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which took place in Nizamuddin Markaz in the first half of March, has become the mega-spreader of coronavirus in India, as many as more than one-third cases in India are linked to that event now. The persons who had attended the event, and their family members and those who came into contact with them are testing positive regularly, contributing the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The Tablighi Jamaat event was not only attended by Indian Islamic clerics but also foreign nationals. The alarm bells should have started ringing when seven Indonesian nationals associated with the organization tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus in Telangana after travelling from Delhi to Karimnagar for an Ijtema. However, it was only later that the full scope of the Tablighi Jamaat’s contribution to the spreading of the virus became prominent when nearly 300 Jamaatis in the Delhi’s Banglewali Masjid had to be taken to hospital for suspected coronavirus symptoms, many testing positive eventually.