Markaz Nizamuddin event: Nationwide search for attendees intensifies, nearly 6,000 identified so far

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Updated: April 2, 2020 10:41:19 AM

Delhi Police in a joint operation conducted by Crime Branch and city government said 275 foreign nationals who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz have been identified and quarantined.

Over 2,000 delegates attended the congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz from March 1-15. (Photo: PTI)

The government has intensified its pan-India search operation for Tablighi-linked persons as the coronavirus tally in the country crossed the 1,900-mark. According to news agency ANI, Delhi Police in a joint operation conducted by Crime Branch and city government said 275 foreign nationals who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz have been identified and quarantined. The 275 foreign nationals include 172 from Indonesia, 36 from Kyrgyzstan and 21 from Bangladesh.

According to a PTI report, authorities across states have identified more than 6,000 people who attended the Nizamuddin Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The venue has now emerged as the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the country. On Wednesday, the country reported more than 450 fresh cases to take the tally beyond 1,900. The virus has claimed 50 lives so far.

As per the government’s claim, more than 5,000 persons have been quarantined in different hospitals across states. Efforts are underway to trace others and isolate them. Nearly 2,500 people are believed to have attended the event between March 1 and 15.

Health Ministry officials have attributed the big spike in the numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases largely to the Tablighi Jamaat event. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were among the places which reported a large number of new cases.

In Delhi, coronavirus cases have mounted to 152, including 53 who attended the Nizamuddin congregation. In Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government said the administration has identified as many as 569 people who attended the event in Delhi from March 1 to 15. The administration said police have identified 218 foreign nationals who had come to Uttar Pradesh on a tourist visa and joined the Tablighi Jamaat, in violation of the visa conditions.

The numbers in Maharashtra increased by 33 to 335 on Wednesday, including 30 in Mumbai alone. In Tamil Nadu, 110 people who returned from Delhi have tested positive for the virus. The state has now 234 active cases. In Telangana, 50 of the 57 positive cases had attended the religious gathering.

In Karnataka, at least 50 foreigners have been quarantined after they were found to have attended the congregation. The authorities have also identified 342 Indians who had attended the event. Nearly 200 have been quarantined.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Centre asked all states and Union Territories to launch on a war footing the contact tracing of all participants of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The government has also directed the states and UTs to take action against foreigners, who participated in the missionary activities of the Tablighi Jamaat, for violation of visa conditions.

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