Delhi's Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Tuesday said that over 24 people who were present at the mid-March congregation in West Nizamuddin in South Delhi have tested positive for coronavirus. He also mentioned that more than 300 people with symptoms linked to COVID-19 are being tested. Earlier on Tuesday, Markaz Nizamuddin - the Delhi headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat -- was sealed and 800 people moved out in buses are quarantined in different parts of the city.
Speaking to the media Jain said, "24 people who were present at the Markaz building, Nizamuddin, have tested positive for #Coronavirus, so far. We are not certain of the number but it is estimated that 1500-1700 people had assembled at Markaz building. 1033 people have been evacuated so far - 334 of them have been sent to hospital & 700 sent to quarantine centre."
"Event's organisers committed a grave crime. Disaster Act & Contagious Diseases Act was enforced in Delhi, no assembly of more than 5 people was allowed. Still, they did this. I've written to Lt Guv to take the strictest action against them. Delhi govt has given the order to file FIR, " he added.
Six people have died in Telangana and one man died in Srinagar. Ten more who returned to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have tested positive. Police and paramilitary personnel cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin West in south Delhi on Monday. The Telangana government asked those who participated in the prayers to inform the authorities. It will conduct tests and offer treatment to them free of cost, according to the release. The government also requested the people to alert if they come to know about those who participated in the prayers.
Ignoring all social distancing rules to avoid the deadly coronavirus, hundreds had been staying in the 100-year-old complex, which has a six-floor dormitory, since a two-day gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat from March 13 to 15. Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic missionary movement set up in 1926, with members across the world.
The gathering, which featured sermons, was attended by Tablighi members from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Saudi Arabia. Members had also come from Afghanistan, Algeria, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, Fiji, France, and Kuwait. Many of those who attended then travelled to other parts of the country. The Indonesians, for instance, went to southern states like Telangana.
(With PTI inputs)