Medical staff wear protective suits while fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi. (File photo| ANI)
Medical staff wear protective suits while fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic at LNJP Hospital in New Delhi. (File photo| ANI)

52 of 102 people who stayed at 13 mosques in Delhi's COVID-19 hotspot Chandni Mahal test positive

During intensive verification drives conducted in the last five days, government agencies found that 102 people, including foreigners, were living in 13 mosques in the Chandni Mahal area.

NEW DELHI: As many as 52 people out of the 102, who were found living in 13 mosques in Delhi's Chandni Mahal area, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and many of them had last month attended a congregation in Nizamuddin, a COVID-19 hotspot, officials said on Saturday.

There are 30 COVID-19 hotspots in the national capital and Chandni Mahal was declared one on Friday. In the last four days, at least three people from the central Delhi area have succumbed to the coronavirus disease, a senior government official told PTI.

During intensive verification drives conducted in the last five days, government agencies found that 102 people, including foreigners, were living in 13 mosques in the Chandni Mahal area. The official said that after preliminary medical examinations, 52 of them tested COVID-19 positive.

All of them were sent to different quarantine centres. Many of these 102 people had attended the congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month. The authorities have launched a sanitisation drive in Chandni Mahal and introduced a containment plan after the detection of such a large number of people living in religious places.

Those who came into contact with the three people who died and those who tested positive have been put under home quarantine. No resident of the locality is allowed to go out of their homes and essential items are being delivered at home, another official said.

So far, over 500 COVID-19 positive cases and about 20 deaths in the country have been found to have links to the Nizamuddin congregation.

Over 2,300 activists, including 250 foreigners of the Islamic organisation Tablighi Jamaat, were found to be living at its headquarters at the Markaz building in Delhi's Nizamuddin in the later part of March, despite the 21-day lockdown imposed from March 25 to check the spread of the coronavirus.

At least 9,000 people had participated at the congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month after which many have travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works. Among the participants include citizens of 41 nationalities.

They are 379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshi, 77 Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thai, 63 Myanmarese and 33 Sri Lankan citizens besides others. The home ministry had also asked Delhi Police and police chiefs of other states, where these foreigners are currently living, to take legal action under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act.

The ministry had said that about 2,100 foreigners have come to India since January 1 and indulged in Tablighi activities in different parts of the country.

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