IGP Sindh directs Tableeghi Jamaat members to stay in marakiz, consider them as quarantine centres

Updated March 31, 2020

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Wearing a mask, a member of Tableeghi Jamaat comes out of the main hall of Makki Mosque in Sehrish Nagar in Hyderabad. —  Umair Ali
Wearing a mask, a member of Tableeghi Jamaat comes out of the main hall of Makki Mosque in Sehrish Nagar in Hyderabad. — Umair Ali

Sindh Inspector General Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar in a notification issued on Tuesday instructed all police officers to ensure that Tableeghi Jamaat members across the province remain in the Jamaat marakiz (centres) and to consider all such marakiz as quarantine centres.

The development comes after 36 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Hyderabad's Noor Mosque, where some 200 Jamaat members were initially quarantined.

They had returned from the Tableeghi Jamaat congregation in Raiwind — comprising tens of thousands of people — held from March 11 to 15 near Lahore.

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

According to the notification, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, the number of cases was increasing and there was concern that there might be a further increase if adequate preparations to control Covid-19's spread were not made.

The notification also directed police officers to ensure that no person entered or left the premises of the centres. It also directed the superintendents (SPs) of each district to cooperate with the district commissioners (DCs) and health officers and provide rations and necessary items to the centres.

It further directed the police officers to make lists of all the Tableeghi Jamaat marakiz in their areas and the people inside and trace all the members outside, and to send their data to the operations room of the Inspector General of Police.

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," said Hyderabad range DIG Naeem Shaikh.

Noor Mosque is the second largest centre of the Jamaat in Sindh after the one in Karachi. It was sealed on Friday after a 19-year-old Chinese-origin Tableeghi Jamaat member tested positive for Covid-19.

Meanwhile, some 27 members of Tableeghi Jamaat out of 35 screened at the Tableeghi Markaz in Raiwind tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday while another member was put under quarantine in Layyah. Lahore Deputy Commissioner Daanish Afzaal said that the markaz had been sealed.

The Islamabad administration last week placed the capital's union council of Kot Hathial under quarantine after six members of the Tableeghi Jamaat residing in the area tested positive for coronavirus.