Even as confirmed cases of the Coronavirus rise among attendees of Nizamuddin Markaz gathering, the Centre on Tuesday banned tourist visas to Tablighi activists from abroad. News agency PTI reported officials saying those having tourist visas and promoting missionary activities will be treated as visa violators. No foreigner coming on a tourist visa will be allowed to conduct Tablighi activities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has also asked the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) to seek details of accommodation in India, return ticket, finance of Tablighi activists who apply for visa. The action follows reports of at least 60 people from Tamil Nadu (45) and Telangana (15) who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz testing positive for COVID-19 in a single day.
Delhi's Nizamuddin area has emerged as a Coronavirus hotspot following a religious congregation which was held at the Markaz mid-March, that was attended by thousands of people from across India and abroad. Several COVID-19 positive cases have been found among those who attended the gathering, with many even passing away. State governments from across India, from where people had attended the gathering and then returned, have now scrambled to track those attendees, put them under quarantine and also began testing them for COVID-19 infection.