Tablighi Jamaat Coronavirus Hotspot: What is Tabligh-e-Jamaat and How it led to spread of COVID-19 in India?

Tablighi Jamaat Meet turned into Coronavirus Hotspot: Delhi's Nizamuddin area suddenly emerged as one of the hotspots of novel Coronavirus in India after Delhi Police busted the Tablighi Jamaat conference at Nizamuddin Markaz. Over 1400 people have been residing together in a single six-storey building since March 1, violating social distancing norms amid the outbreak of contagious COVID-19.

Soon after the Delhi Police exposed the meet, the area was cordoned off immediately and people were evacuated and taken to the hospital directly for COVID-19 tests. Over 200 displayed the symptoms of the novel Coronavirus.

Around 2,000 delegates or worshippers attended this religious congregation which was hosted by Tabligh-e-Jamaat during March 1-15, 2020. These delegates came from countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Sri lanka, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia and from other Indian States and UTs including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Jammu & Kashmir

What is Tablighi Jamaat or Tabligh-e-Jamaat?

Tablighi Jamaat is a global Islamic missionary movement with having a group of preachers urging Muslims to follow basic tenets of Sunni Islam such as clothes, rituals and way of worshipping. The movement was initially floated in 1926 by an Islamic scholar Maulana Muhammad Ilyas.

Tablighi Jamaat preachers operate from mosques, interact with Muslims and call them for 'namaz' and other seminars at the mosque.

How Tablighi Jamaat led to Nizamuddin as Coronavirus Hotspot?

Though the religious meet took place before the imposition of nationwide lockdown on March 25, it violated the Delhi Government's order banning any religious and public gatherings. The congregation of Tablighi Jamaat became a worry for Indian Government as even after the conclusion of the meet and complete COVID-19 lockdown, over 1400 people kept on living in a six-storey building of Tablighi Jamaat, creating a network of close contacts.

Of these 1400 people, 200 people displayed symptoms of deadly virus; 24 from Delhi and 11 from AP have tested positive for Coronavirus; and 6 from Telangana and 1 from J&K are dead already.

The Police came to know about this congregation being the hotspot of COVID-19 after it linked the reports of officials from Andaman, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Kashmir regarding COVID-19 cases and deaths in these regions. The officials traced the travel history of these patients.

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