From Kashmir To Andamans – Tablighi Jamaat Congregation Leaves Covid-19 Footprints Everywhere

The Tablighi Jamaat is fast emerging as the new super spreader of coronavirus not only in India but across the world. The Tablighi Jamaat organized a religious congregation at its 100-year-old headquarters in Nizamuddin in South Delhi resulting in over 300 hospitalizations on account of symptoms linked to coronavirus.

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Out of the 10 deaths that have been attributed to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering, nine are Indian nationals with six from Telangana and one each from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir while out of the 43 confirmed Covid-19 cases 24 are Indian nationals.

Tablighi Jamaat

The Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic missionary movement founded in 1926 in Mewat, Haryana in India by Maulana Muhammad Ilyas to get Muslims to practice Islam as was practised at the time of Prophet Muhammad. The organization is estimated to have 150 million members and has often been criticized for its orthodox beliefs.

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The congregation of Tablighi Jamaat was held in the Indian capital of New Delhi in early March has sparked fears of an increase in Covid-19 cases after more than 2000 members from the organization from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan attended the event. Around 1400 people had continued to stay at the venue even after the event.

According to a report, 34 sanitation workers and 20 domestic breeding checkers have been deployed in the area and around 30,000 litres of disinfectant has been spread.

Six people from Telangana who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event died from the virus on Sunday. The state’s medical officer told that more than 40 of Telangana’s 71 cases were either directly or indirectly linked to the event.

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A 65-year-old Kashmiri man who had attended the Tablighi Jamaatcongregation died from the virus last week making him Kashmir’s first casualty. Officials said that more than 40 of the region’s 48 cases could be traced back him.

The man is said to have held further congregations in Sopore, Bandipora and Samba sectors. While family members of the victim have tested negative some of his contacts have tested positive. Even in the farthest and of the most remote islands of the country – Andaman and Nicobar Islands has reported six people positive of the nine who attended the Delhi event.

The southern states of Tami Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have said more than 3,000 people from their states had attended the event, and Tamil Nadu has traced 16 positive patients to it. One person each from Tami Nadu and Karnataka has died so far.

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There was also a group of 10 who is believed to have travelled from Mumbai, in Maharashtra.

The headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat organisation has been sealed and police are trying to detect and limit the spread and have also asked people to voluntarily come forward for the test.  The Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has ordered a First Information Report (FIR) on the incident but the organization has denied any wrongdoing.

Tablighi Jamaat Gathering In Pakistan

Earlier as EurAsian Times had reported, the annual  Tablighi Jamaat gathering that brought 250,000 people from across 90 countries in Lahore infected two men from Gaza with coronavirus when they returned from Pakistan.

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Twelve other participants of this Jamaat, from the suburbs of Islamabad, have been found to be infected. Four others were found positive in Sindh. One Kyrgyzstan preacher of the Jammat was diagnosed in an Islamabad mosque, his 13 companions were quarantined and the mosque was locked down and disinfected.

However, none of this has stopped the Tablighis from gathering, in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where hundreds of participants defied the law and continued to preach and pray. Pakistan’s first coronavirus victim, 50-year-old Saadat Khan, from Mardan was believed to have been exposed to covid-19 after attending the Tablighi Jamaat event and 39 people who were in touch with him later tested positive.

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In Malaysia, in mid-march, the religious congregation organized by the group was attended by 16,000 people, including 1,500 foreigners. Out of Malaysia’s 673 confirmed coronavirus cases, nearly two-thirds were traced back to the four-day gathering. The packed gathering was attended by nationals from Canada, Nigeria, India, Australia, China and South Korea.

Brunei has confirmed 50 cases linked to the mosque gathering, out of a total of 56 cases. Singapore has announced five while Cambodia 13 and Thailand at least two. Philippine earlier reported of a death of a man who attended the event in Malaysia.