The South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday sanitized the Nizamuddin Markaz in the national capital and the area around it after a religious gathering was held amid the Coronavirus crisis, from which people have spread out and then tested positive in numerous states. While several positive cases have been found among those who attended the gathering, the search is still going on of the other attendees of the event.
Earlier, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain had stated that it is not certain about the total number of people who had attended the religious gathering. However, he estimated that around 1,500 to 1,700 people had attended the event, while other sources pegged the number over 3000. Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the positive cases of Coronavirus in India have soared over 1,600, while 38 deaths have been reported as of now.
A religious program was organized at Tablighi Jamaat's headquarters Markaz Nizamuddin mosque between 13-15 March which was attended by over three thousand people, from India and abroad, who since dispersed. After attending the meeting, which took place prior to the nationwide lockdown but after the Delhi government's own directive against such gatherings, many of the attendees returned to other parts of the country, with the spread of the COVID-19 virus now being confirmed from numerous states as a result.
A case was registered by the Delhi Police against Maulana Saad and other officials of Tablighi Jamaat for violating the restriction pertaining to a religious gathering. Sections under the Epidemic Disease Act,1897 and Section 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked. In the FIR, it has been stated that the congregation failed to take safety measures for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. In an alleged audiotape of the Markaz accessed by Republic, a preacher is telling people that the Coronavirus is a conspiracy to disrupt their way of life, going on to make statements against science and general guidelines of public health at a time like this.