Coronavirus: Tablighi Jamaat members continue to endanger public health in different states in India
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The massive jump in the number of Wuhan Coronavirus cases in India is solely due to the Tablighi Jamaat members who had gathered in the Nizamuddin mosque despite government orders against mass-gatherings. The Jamaat members taking buses and trains to their respective localities all over India has resulted in a massive nation-wide spread within a span of few days.
On Saturday, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry, Lav Aggarwal informed that about 1023 confirmed cases of Wuhan Coronavirus in 17 States are linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz congregation that was organised by Tablighi Jamaat. An analysis of the pandemic outbreak in different states will give us a complete picture of the grim situation on the ground.
On April 2, it was reported that as many as 148 people linked with the Tablighi Jamaat have been placed under quarantine in different parts of Assam. It has also come to light that in the 25 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, 24 are directly connected to the religious congregation held between March 13 and March 15. The 24 persons had attended the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, or had travelled to Delhi with family members who had attended the event. 3 of them are residents of UP who had gone to Assam to preach after the Jamaat was over.
Assam govt has identified more than 800 people lined with the Jamaat and placed them in quarantine. As a precautionary measure, the other Northeastern States have sealed their borders and have restricted the entry of people coming from Assam into their respective States.
Chief Spokesperson of Odisha Government, Subroto Bagchi, said 27 people from the State had been linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz event. Reportedly, 7 of them are foreigners. One of them has now been diagnosed with COVID-19. While 21 of them had tested negative for the deadly pathogen, the test results of 5 people are still awaited.
The West Bengal Government had informed on Friday that a total of 225 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts had been kept under quarantine. A senior official said, “We are not taking any chance…Even those who had returned to the State before the countrywide lockdown have been placed under quarantine. Everyone with links to the Nizamuddin event has been put in isolation and medical tests will be duly conducted.”
The Central Government had earlier revealed the names of 71 attendees of the religious congregation. The West Bengal government had been successful in tracking down 54 of them within a few others. As per reports, the other participants were eventually traced.
In a press meet at his residence on Friday, West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh said, “We have information that 69 others still remain untraced, posing a serious threat… It can be assumed that many of them could be infected with the dreaded virus, but our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee seems to have washed her hands off this.”
On Thursday, 3 members of the Tablighi Jamaat had tested positive for COVID-19 in the hilly State of Uttarakhand. 13 members of the same Islamic Missionary movement were arrested near the railway track and Nainital Road in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. They had entered the State from the Moradabad and Rampur areas of Uttar Pradesh and were booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience), 269 (negligently spread any disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection) of the Indian Penal Code.
Haridwar District Magistrate C Ravishankar informed, “531 Tablighi Jamaat members had gone out from Haridwar out of which 377 have returned after March 1. All of them have been traced. So far, 243 of them have been kept in quarantine.”
On April 2, Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa, informed that 391 people from Karnataka who attended the religious meeting at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz had been quarantined. 11 people belonging to Tablighi Jamaat had been diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus infection.
He said, “Some members who had gone to preach in other districts (of Karnataka and other states) are being identified. Directions are issued to quarantine them wherever they are.” Yeddyurappa had directed for a mandatory checkup of all primary and secondary contacts of the Tablighi Jamaat members.
On 3rd April, Tamil Nadu reported 102 fresh cases of COVID-19, thus taking the total number of cases in the state to 411. According to Dr. Beela Rajesh, 100 people out of 102 had links with the Tablighi Jamaat event. An estimated 1500 people had participated in the religious congregation. Reportedly, the people have been spread over 15 districts in the state.
Around 1030 Jamaatis from Telangana had been to the religious congregation in Delhi. As on Friday, 229 of them had tested positive for Coronavirus. According to the Telangana Government, a whooping 82% patients are linked to the Jamaat.
400 members of the Tablighi Jamaat have been moved to isolation wards in different government hospitals such as Gandhi, Fever, Chest, etc. Around 100 family members of these people have also been quarantined. Their test results are likely to be announced today.
On March 30, six people from Telangana who attended a religious gathering at Markaz in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area between March 13 and March 15 had reportedly died of Coronavirus infection. This has taken the death toll in the state from 2 to 8 in just 48 hours.
The Maharashtra government has traced 1300 out of 1400 Tablighi Jamaat members. Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said, “The process to quarantine all of them have started. This is from all over Maharashtra. Help is being taken from the NGOs and NSS along with police and state officials in the quarantine process.” 2 people from the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation area, linked with the Nizamuddin Markaz event, have tested positive for COVId-19
The first case of COVID-19 outbreak in 5 districts of Rajasthan can be traced either to Tablighi Jamaat members or their contacts. 41 people out of the total 198 live cases reported in the State are linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz event. The cops have been able to track down 703 Jaamtis so far. They have now been sent to isolation wards in government-run facilities or kept under home quarantine.
On Friday, DGP Manoj Yadav had informed that over 1300 members, including 107 foreign nationals, of the Tablighi Jamaat members had come to Haryana after attending the religious meeting in Delhi. 8 people have been diagonsed with the Wuhan Coronavirus so far. “There were no restrictions in place when they entered Haryana. I can assure that no one entered after March 25”, DGP Manoj was quoted as saying.
On Friday, the Delhi Government reported 93 new cases of COVID-19. 77 patients were found to have taken part in the Islamic congregation. Two people died in the state, one of them a Tablighi Jamaat member. The death toll in the State has thus crossed 6.
In a rather unprecedented move, 650 government officials who were involved in evicting Tablighi Jamaat members from the Markaz have been sent to a 14-day quarantine. The decision was taken keeping in mind their well-being and that of their families.
Out of 6 live cases of COVID-19 infection in Himachal Pradesh, 3 of them are associated with Tablighi Jamaat. They had returned to the Una district in the State after participating in Nizamuddin’s religious congregation. A total of 27 samples were sent for testing, out of which 3 turned out to be positive.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which is home to at least 5 endangered tribes has reported 10 cases of Wuhan Coronavirus till April 1. Nine of them include Islamic preachers who participated in the religious congregation in Nizamuddin while the 10th patient is the wife of one of the clerics. Nine of them returned to Port Blair on March 24 and carried the deadly infection with them to the group of islands.
Besides endangering public health through voluntary participation in a mass gathering, members of the Tablighi Jamaat had also been involved in several notorious activities.
The Tablighi Jamaat members who were shifted to quarantine facilities in Delhi after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 behaved in an unruly manner with the facility staff and doctors. According to authorities, occupants made unreasonable demands for food, misbehaved and abused staff members and started spitting all over and on persons working/attending them, including doctors. They also started roaming around the hostel building.
One such cluster of almost 89 Tablighi Jamaat attendees who have been quarantined in the Isolation Center at Madhu Resort in Sikandra space, Agra, had refused to consume the healthy non-spicy food prescribed to them by the doctors. Instead, they have been making preposterous food demands like spicy beef biryani. The Jamaatis are claiming that they eat the same biryani every day and that it is an essential part of their diet.
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh police have registered an FIR against six Muslims associated with controversial Tablighi Jamaat for walking around the ward without their trousers on and making lewd gestures towards the nurses during their quarantine at MMG District Hospital in the city. This incident of Tablighi Jamaat members misbehaving came after they were quarantined.
Reportedly, the members of Tablighi Jamaat were found intentionally roaming naked in their ward and making lewd gestures for female staff at a Ghaziabad Hospital. Following this incident, an FIR has been registered against persons from Tablighi Jamat by the city police based on Chief Medical officer’s complaint.
In yet another ghastly attack on the healthcare workers by Islamists, the Tablighi Jamaat members who are quarantined at Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College in Kanpur, misbehaved with the medical staff and spat on them during their stay at the hospital in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.