In what can easily be defined as India’s Sri Petaling Mosque moment, a huge Coronavirus crisis has broken out right in the heart of national capital- Nizamuddin to be precise. The sudden outbreak of Coronavirus in the national capital that has now spread to different corners of the country traces its origins to the Tablighi Jamaat- an orthodox Muslim organisation demanding Muslims to embrace the lifestyle of Prophet Mohammed, that has emerged as a Coronavirus super spreader across the whole of South and Southeast Asia.
It has come to light that the Tablighi Jamaat had organised a congregation at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in the Nizamuddin area of South Delhi- the global centre for Tablighi Network, that was attended by around 2000 people from Islamic preachers across India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Saudi Arabia earlier this month. This has now taken the shape of a full-fledged epidemic in Delhi and beyond.
The shrine where the congregation was organised has now been traced as the common link between 194 quarantined preachers with travel history to Nizamuddin, 1500 preachers in Tamil Nadu who attended the congregation, nine Coronavirus positive cases in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands who also attended this gathering, deaths of one preacher each in Jammu & Kashmir and Karnataka, and a Filipino national who has died in Mumbai, part of a 10-member group that attended the Nizamuddin congregation.
Six Tablighi preachers who travelled to Telangana after attending the Nizamuddin conference too have succumbed to Coronavirus, as it has become amply clear that the tremors of the congregation organised at the Tablighi headquarters in Delhi are going to be felt across the country.
The authorities zeroed in on the Tablighi shrine in Nizamuddin after it emerged as the common thread in Coronavirus cases across the country. The police even escorted 1,200 preachers at the shrine to the airport a day after the “Janata Curfew”.
But they returned to the Mosque and according to the Delhi Police 1,400 people, including 280 foreigners, remain there even though the police has been appealing them to vacate the Mosque since March 24. Delhi Police has now cordoned off the area in order to prevent the virus from spreading further.
Now, 300 preachers from the Mosque have manifested Coronavirus symptoms and all of them have been hospitalised by the authorities. After their test results come out, the Coronavirus outbreak in Delhi and the rest of the country could suddenly blow out of proportions given that many of the preachers from the shrine have travelled to other corners of the country as several hundreds of preachers dispersed in 20-30 buses.
The Tablighi Coronavirus outbreak essentially traces its origins to the fateful four-day Muslim gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia attended by 16,000 people including 1,500 foreigners. The event was held from February 27 to March 1 and has emerged as the epicentre and hotbed of Wuhan Virus infections that has spread to the whole of Southeast Asia.
The chain of Tablighi sect goes upto Pakistan in South Asia where several Tablighi Jamaat preachers have tested positive and the Tablighi Markaz in Lahore has become the new hotbed of the novel Wuhan virus.
SHO Ashraf Malik in Layyah stabbed & injured by a Tablighi Jamaat member who was trying to escape quarantine. 27 Tablighi Jamaat members out of 35 screened at their markaz in Raiwind have tested positive for coronavirus. Islam or not, Tablighis are certainly spreading the virus pic.twitter.com/dcFmynBaJd
— Bilal Farooqi (@bilalfqi) March 30, 2020
28 people have been quarantined at the Tableegi Markaz in Raiwind, Lahore.
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) March 29, 2020
The Tablighi Jamaat Coronavirus chain that started from the Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur has now spread to several nations as Tablighi jamaat members jumped countries for their religious international congregations.
Now, Coronavirus outbreaks from West Asia to South Asia to Southeast Asia trace their origins to the successive international conferences organised by this sect, and at least three of that conferences- one each in Malaysia, Pakistan and India, have emerged as major epidemic clusters.
— Neeta Sharma (@NEETAS11) March 31, 2020
Till now, India was able to keep the Coronavirus spread in check, but with at least ten deaths across the country directly attributable to the Nizamuddin gathering and several hundred developing Coronavirus symptoms at the Mosque that has come in spotlight for all the wrong reasons, the future looks bleak.
In the worst-case scenario, a large proportion of those who attended the international Tablighi conference in Delhi could test positive across the country and might have also passed on the virus to others in their vicinity. The number of positive cases could shoot up several times once we successfully trace the entire Tablighi chain in India.