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66 Markaz Attendees In Dwarka Quarantine Facility Test Positive For COVID-19

66 Markaz attendees in the Dwarka quarantine facility in Delhi have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. They are being taken to the LNJP hospital.

Delhi

As per sources, 66 more members of the Tablighi Jamaat who attended the religious congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin have tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. They are reportedly being taken to the Delhi government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in the national capital from the Dwarka quarantine facility, where they are currently present. Recently, the Ministry of Health had remarked that it would have taken 7.4 days for the number of cases to double instead of the current 4.1 days if the Jamaat function had not taken place. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also conceded that the Markaz congregation was a setback to the country's efforts to fight COVID-19.

Read: Health Minister Calls Nizamuddin Markaz Event A 'setback' In Fight Against COVID-19

The Markaz controversy

The controversy erupted when 24 people who had attended the religious congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin tested positive for COVID-19. Thousands of people who participated in the event travelled to various states in India, risking the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 1746 individuals including 216 foreigners were staying in the Markaz building as of March 21. 

As per the Delhi government, the religious congregation violated the prevailing orders, which prohibited large gatherings. However, the Markaz claimed that it had not flouted the rules and discontinued the religious function after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown. Instead, it alleged that many of the attendees were stuck due to the unavailability of transport services.

Read: FSL Scientists And Delhi Police Crime Branch Officials Visit Markaz For Investigation

The investigation against organizers of Tablighi Jamaat congregation

On March 31, the Delhi Police registered a case against Maulana Saad and other officials of Tablighi Jamaat under sections od the Epidemic Disease Act,1897 and Section 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. In the FIR, it has been stated that the congregation failed to take safety measures for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Responding to the police's questionnaire, Maulana Saad stated that he couldn't answer questions as he is under quarantine and the documents are locked in the Markaz building. On April 5, a team of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) scientists and Delhi Police Crime Branch officials visited Markaz Nizamuddin. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs blacklisted 960 foreigners who were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities despite being on a tourist visa. 

Read: Mamata Says 2 New COVID-19 Cases In Bengal; Slams Communalisation Of Markaz Incident

Read: Police Forces Across Country Chalk Out Elaborate Plans To Track Markaz Attendees

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