Coronavirus outbreak: 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tablighi activities this year, says Home Ministry

By: |
March 31, 2020 8:42 PM

The Home Ministry also said so far 1,339 Tabligh Jamaat workers have been shifted to Narela, Sultanpuri and Bakkarwala quarantine facilities, as well as to LNJP, RGSS, GTB, DDU Hospitals in Delhi and AllMS, Jhajjar (Haryana).

On March 28, all state police were advised to collect the names of Indian Tablighi Jamaat workers from the local coordinators, locate them on the ground, get them medically screened and quarantine them. (IE)

The government on Tuesday said 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tablighi activities since January 1 and all of them first reported at Tablighi Jammat’s headquarters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, which has apparently become a coronavirus hotspot. The home ministry also said a total of 303 Tablighi activists had symptoms of COVID-19 and were referred to different hospitals in Delhi.

In a statement, the home ministry also said so far 1,339 Tabligh Jamaat workers have been shifted to Narela, Sultanpuri and Bakkarwala quarantine facilities, as well as to LNJP, RGSS, GTB, DDU Hospitals in Delhi and AllMS, Jhajjar (Haryana).

Rest of them are being currently medically screened for COVID-19 infections. It said it is estimated that from January 1 onwards, approximately 2,100 foreigners had visited India for Tablighi activities. As on March 21, approximately 824 foreigners were dispersed at Markazes in different parts of the country, and 216 of them were staying at Nizamuddin Markaz. Others might have left the country before the 21 days lockdown was announced on March 24, and came into effect from the next day.

Tablighi Jamaat workers, both foreigners as well Indians, indulge in preaching tours or ‘Chilla’ across the country throughout the year. Various nationals, particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan come for Tabligh activities. All such foreign nationals normally report their arrival at Tablighi Markaz at Banglewali Mosque in Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi, the statement said. From here, they are detailed for ‘Chilla’ activities to different parts of the country. ‘Chilla’ activities in all states are coordinated by district coordinators in different districts, who, in turn, in some states are supervised by ‘state Amirs’.

The home ministry said a large number of Indian Tablighi Jamaat workers were also engaged in different parts of the country. Details of the 824 foreigners had been shared on March 21 with all state police forces for identifying them, getting them medically screened and quarantining them, it said. Besides, on March 28, all state police were advised to collect the names of Indian Tablighi Jamaat workers from the local coordinators, locate them on the ground, get them medically screened and quarantine them.

“So far, about 2,137 such persons have been identified in different states,” the statement said. They are being medically examined and quarantined. This process is still on and more such people would be identified and located. “As on March 21, there were about 1,746 people staying in Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz. Of these, 216 were foreigners and 1,530 were Indians. On March 28, the home ministry also issued a detailed advisory to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all states, as well as Commissioner of Police, Delhi, on this issue, the home ministry said.

Again, State DGPs were advised by the Director of Intelligence Bureau on March 29, to trace the movement of all such Tablighi workers in their area, ascertain the people coming in their contacts and take steps for their medical screening. Many states have already started doing this, it said. All the Tabligh Jamaat workers staying at Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz are being medically screened since March 26. So far 1,203 Tabligh Jamaat workers have been medically screened.

The ministry said the Bureau of Immigration has been sharing (since February 1) with state authorities, details of all international arrivals from affected countries based on self-declaration form filled-in by them. In addition, since March 6, the Bureau of Immigration had also been sharing details of all the international arrivals (both Indians and foreigners) at all the international airports in the country to the concerned state, based on the permanent address mentioned in their passports, in case of Indians, and hotel address, in case of foreigners.

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