After Pakistan, India starts crackdown against Tableeghi Jamaat as they emerge as a COVID-19 Cluster

Pakistan has so far registered 26 deaths from 2,039 confirmed cases, and India has registered 20 from 1,590.

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Tablighi

Pakistan and India have closed centers belonging to a Muslim missionary group since Tuesday and started investigating how many coronavirus cases were connected to its activities.

The Missionary Group or Tablighi Jamaat is a Deobandi Sunni Muslim program that preaches worldwide. Every year thousands of people attend its congregations in Lahore, Pakistan, and other parts of South Asia.

Pakistan has so far registered 26 deaths from 2,039 confirmed cases, and India has registered 20 from 1,590.

Cases are less but…..

The numbers are much fewer if  compared with the US, Italy, or China. However, health officials say both countries have weak public health structures that could be overwhelmed by a surge in infections.

The city administration of New Delhi has identified a Muslim quarter where the 100-year-old group has a branch as a coronavirus hotspot after many people tested positive for the infection there, and at least seven died.

Authorities said people kept visiting the center, from other parts of the country and world, and that it had preached sermons to huge crowds despite government orders on social distancing.

More than a hundred people were crowded into the building until the weekend when authorities started taking them out for testing. Extra buses arrived on Tuesday to take them away to quarantine centers in another part of the city.

Criminal Act

The city administration said in a statement, “It looks like quarantine protocols and social distancing were not practiced here. The administrators of the missionary group violated these conditions, and several cases of corona-positive patients have been found. By this act of negligence, many lives have been endangered. This is nothing but a criminal act.”

Authorities are tracking the movements of people who had gathered at the Tablighi centers in Lahore and Delhi and the people who were exposed to them.

In Pakistan, the Lahore Tablighi center was closed, and many other preaching centers were placed in quarantine after 143 Tablighi members tested positive and three died, officials said.

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