281 foreigners found at Markaz facility in Nizamuddin
NEW DELHI: Nationals from the UK and France are among 281 foreigners out of 1,830 people who were found by the Delhi police in last two days at Nizamuddin’s Markaz Masjid, where a religious congregation, held in mid-March, has become a key source of coronavirus spread in the country, officials said.
Most of those who were found at the facility have been shifted to different quarantine centres and isolation wards of hospitals.
A total of 1,830, including these foreigners from 16 countries, continued to stay at the Tablighi Jamaat’s Markaj even as a 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24, according to officials.
The foreigners were from Indonesia (72), Sri Lanka (34), Myanmar (33), Kyrgystan (28), Malaysia (20), Nepal and Bangladesh (9 each),Thailand (7), Fiji (4), England (3), one each from Afghanistan, Algeria, Djibouti, Singapore, France and Kuwait.
Remaining 1,549 people were from Tamil Nadu (501), Assam (216), Uttar Pradesh (156), Maharashtra (109), from Madhya Pradesh (107), Bihar (86), West Bengal (73), Telangana (55), Jharkhand (46), Karnataka (45), Uttarakhand (34), Haryana (22), Andaman Nicobar Islands (21), Rajasthan (19), 15 each from Himachal Pradesh, Kerala and Odisha, Punjab (9) and Meghalaya (5).
In last one month, at least 8,000 people, including foreigners have visited the premises, and most of them have either returned to their respective places or currently in other Markaz facilities in different parts of the country, thereby having a link in some positive cases in those states.
Apart from six Indonesians, who tested positive in Hyderabad, one person each from Jammu and Kashmir and Telangana, who succumbed to the infection, had also attended the congregation.
Officials said Markaz office bearers informed police about the presence of about 1,200 people on March 25 after the lockdown was announced.
Some of these people were escorted out of Delhi by police.
On March 26, again about 2,000 people gathered at the Markaz facility.
Even though the Markaz office bearers sought the help of police and civil authorities to send these people out of the city, the road, rail and air traffic were completely shut by then.
Out of the 1,830 people found by the police, about 200 are believed to have showed COVID-19 symptoms and they have been shifted to hospitals.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said 700 people who attended this congregation have been quarantined while around 335 people have been admitted to hospitals.