COVID-19 kills six Tabligh activists in India


DHAKA, March 31, 2020 (BSS) – COVID-19 has claimed at least six lives as a Muslim group joined a Tabligh Jamaat congregation in New Delhi defying the lockdown across India forcing authorities there to seal off the group’s headquarters as it appeared as a corona cluster, reports said today.

Several International and Indian media said authorities today sealed off the Tabligh Jamaat’s headquarters and ordered an investigation into accusations that it held religious meetings defying the ongoing ban on congregations of all types.

Healthcare officials feared that the meetings might have infected dozens of people with the coronavirus while southern India’s Telangana state announced that six people who had attended a religious congregation died of the coronavirus.

The event had participants from other nations as well such as Malaysia and Indonesia while authorities said people kept visiting the Tablighi center.

The centre is located in a five-storey building in a neighborhood of narrow, winding lanes, from other parts of the country and abroad and it held sermon sessions, despite government orders on social distancing.

Reuters news agency said hundreds of people were crammed into the group’s building until the weekend when authorities began taking them out for testing. More buses arrived on Tuesday to take them away to quarantine centers in another part of the city.

“It looks like social distancing and quarantine protocols were not practised here,” the city administration said in a statement.

PTI news agency said the Telangana administration is estimating that over 1,000 people from the state might have attended a religious congregation in the national capital’s Nizamuddin area earlier this month, a senior official said adding the search is on to identify people who came in contact with them.

The state government intensified its efforts following the death of six people who attended the meeting. A government press release late Monday said the six persons who attended the congregation between March 13 and 15 died due to coronavirus.

“We estimate over 1,000 persons might have attended the congregation in Delhi. Respective district collectors and police personnel were on the job to locate people who came in contact with them after their return. Family members of the deceased were quarantined depending on the symptoms they show,” the official told ‘PTI’.

Two of the six died in Gandhi Hospital and one each in two different private hospitals here and one each in Nizamabad and Gadwal towns succumbed, the release had said without mentioning the time of deaths.

Till Monday night, Telangana reported 77 coronavirus positive cases, out of which 14 have been discharged.

Since those who participated in Markaz religious prayer meeting were inflicted with coronavirus, all those who participated in the prayers should inform the officials concerned, the government appealed.

It also requested anyone who has information about them should alert the government, the Medical and Health Department of Telangana State had stated in a statement.