320 Tablighi Jamaat members yet to return to Kerala

75 attendees quarantined in state; none has exhibited Covid-19 symptoms so far , Southern states scramble to identify, isolate those who took part in Delhi congregation

Published: 02nd April 2020 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2020 06:45 AM   |  A+A-

A boy takes a peek into an empty mosque which was closed due to the lockdown, at Avenue Rd in Bengaluru on Wednesday | Nagaraja Gadekal

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As many as 395 Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) members from the state had gone to their national headquarters (Markaz) at Nizamuddin in New Delhi from February, of whom 320 are yet to return. Only 75 people, who were at the Markaz, now considered as a Covid-19 hotspot, during the first week of March, have returned to the state and are currently under home quarantine, said highly-placed police sources. The sources confirmed that none of the people in home quarantine has exhibited any Covid-19 symptoms so far and the Health Department is monitoring the situation closely.

Sources said 160 people from the state had attended the first meeting held on March 7-10. Of them, 75 people returned, while the remaining 85 are yet to be back. During the second meeting held on March 18, 30 from the state were present at markaz. Another 45 Keralites had also reached there during the time, but they went there only to visit the place and did not take part in the function. These 75 (the 30 who attended the function and 45 who visited) are still stuck in Delhi and many of them are under quarantine.

The remaining 160 people were part of various groups (jamaats) that had been to Nizamuddin in late February and early March before branching out to various places as part of the outreach programme. These groups are currently stranded in various Indian cities, where they are under quarantine. Of these, three groups are in Haryana, two in Srinagar, three in Uttar Pradesh, and one each in Andaman, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Bengaluru and New Delhi. 

The TJ sources had maintained that only 54 from Kerala had attended the mushawara. “Of the 54 persons, 48 returned on March 10 itself by air, while the remaining six reached the state on March 12 by train. Many of them had gone into self-quarantine after their return,” a TJ source said. Meanwhile, agencies have tracked down the flight that ferried some of the TJ members back home. Sources said they arrived via Hyderabad. The details of the co-passengers have been collected.

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