More than 25,500 Tablighi Jamaat workers quarantined for coronavirus: Govt

Topics Coronavirus

A North MCD worker carries out sanitization work in a locality in the Civil Lines area in the view of the coronavirus outbreak during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in New Delhi. Photo: PTI
More than 25,000 local workers of an Islamic missionary group and people who came in contact with them have been quarantined as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus, the government said on Monday.

Out of the 4,067 positive coronavirus cases in country, at least 1,445 are related to Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi, said officials of the health and home ministries at a press conference.

Five villages in Haryana where Tablighi Jamaat members stayed have been sealed and quarantined, said Punya Salila Srivastava, joint secretary in the home ministry. As many as 1,750 members of the group based abroad have been blacklisted.

Lav Agarwal, joint Secretary in the health ministry, said there were 693 new coronavirus cases and 30 deaths since Sunday. India's death toll from the disease now stands at 109.

The Jamaat organised the gathering between March 10 and March 15 when the country had not restricted people from coming out in public, but at a time when the World Health Organisation had declared the disease as a pandemic that required international efforts to contain.

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, union minister for minority affairs, has called the Jamaat’s congregation a “Taliban crime”.

"When the entire country is together to fight coronavirus, in such circumstances, such a thing is a crime. Not just the law, but even the Almighty will not forgive such a thing. It is very unfortunate that the lives of so many people were endangered because of such a careless approach,” he said.

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