36 Tableeghi Jamaat members test positive in Hyderabad

Published March 31, 2020
Several attendees of the Tableeghi Jamaat congregation in Raiwind have now tested positive for the virus. — AFP/File
Several attendees of the Tableeghi Jamaat congregation in Raiwind have now tested positive for the virus. — AFP/File

Authorities in Sindh on Monday reported 36 coronavirus cases of local transmission among members of the Tableeghi Jamaat in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad now has 43 cases of Covid-19, out of which 36 cases were confirmed among the Jamaat members today, according to Meeran Yousuf, media coordinator to the Sindh health and population welfare minister.

Yousuf said the cases were reported from Noor Mosque, where some 200 Jamaat members were initially quarantined.

Noor Mosque is the second-largest centre of the Jamaat in Sindh after the one in Karachi. The mosque was sealed off after a 19-year-old Chinese-origin member of the preaching group staying there tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday.

According to Yousuf, authorities have taken the samples of all the people who were staying at the mosque and sent them for testing.

A total of 830 persons belonging to the Tableeghi Jamaat are currently in the Hyderabad range.

"Of these 830, 234 belong to Hyderabad’s Noor Mosque," Hyderabad range DIG Naeem Shaikh had earlier told Dawn.

After collecting the samples of Jamaat members from Noor Mosque on Sunday, health authorities shifted 90 of them to Labour Colony flats in Sukkur which were declared a quarantine facility.

Another 70 or so were shifted to Rajputana Hospital in order to be quarantined.

With the rising number of coronavirus cases in Sindh, residents are becoming increasingly wary of the pandemic and are taking whatever precautions deemed necessary to protect themselves and their loves ones.

Amid the worries, the presence of Jamaat members has perturbed residents, especially after reports that several attendees had tested positive for the virus after they had gathered for the Tableeghi Jamaat congregation in Raiwind — comprising tens of thousands of people — held from March 11 to 15 near Lahore.

Concerned residents of Sehrish Nagar area of Qasimabad in Hyderabad had informed police about the presence of Jamaat members in the local Makki Mosque. Subsequently, the members were confined inside the mosque premises and authorities said it will act as a quarantine centre for them.

Also on Monday, two people died in Karachi after having contracted the virus at the Raiwand Ijtima, according to the Sindh health department.

Even though the fast spread of coronavirus in Pakistan had become a known fact, the Raiwind congregation had gone on as planned. Punjab government officials had said at the time that all their "pleas" for postponing the congregation in view of the threat of Covid-19 spread had been rejected by the organisers.

Sindh has a total of 566 cases of the coronavirus, out of which 236 are cases of local transmission, according to the provincial health department.

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