At least 24 people, who had attended a religious gathering in Delhi earlier this month, have tested positive for coronavirus. These cases are linked to the seven deaths in Telangana due to the COVID-19 infection. They all have one thing in common- they had either attended the Delhi event or were in close contact with someone who did.

According to the Delhi Police, these people had gathered for the event without taking any permission. A senior police official said that they have issued a notice to the organisers of the event for defying the event. Several people who attended the event have either tested positive for coronavirus and the number is likely to go up as more are being tested.

Nizamuddin Markaz Coronavirus cases
Several people who attended a religious event at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus.

Around 1500-1700 people, including delegates from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and Kyrgyzstan, had attended Tablig-e-Jamaat event held at a Markaz in Delhi's Hazrat Nizamuddin from 1 to 15 March. When authorities found out that several cases of coronavirus infections are linked to the event, they swung in action. Even after the event, most of these people stayed in the Markaz.

On Monday, more than 300 were moved to hospitals. They all had symptoms of COVID-19 disease, which is caused by the coronavirus. Today morning, the Delhi government ordered to seal the Markaz Nizamuddin and around 700 people were moved out. They have been sent to quarantine facilities in the national capital. According to some reports, more people are still inside the Markaz.

Delhi govt orders FIR against organisers of Nizamuddin Markaz event

"We are not certain of the number but it is estimated that 1500-1700 people had assembled at Markaz building. 1033 people have been evacuated so far - 334 of them have been sent to hospital & 700 sent to quarantine center," Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

Jain said that the organisers had committed a "grave crime" by holding an event despite the ban on Assembly of more than 5 people under the Contagious Diseases Act. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also given the order to file FIR against them.

"Event's organisers committed a grave crime. Disaster Act & Contagious Diseases Act was enforced in Delhi, no assembly of more than 5 people was allowed. Still, they did this. I've written to Lt Guv to take the strictest action against them. Delhi govt has given the order to file FIR," news agency ANI quoted the Delhi health minister as saying.

CM Kejriwal also chaired a meeting with top ministers and officials to discuss the case. He has also briefed Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The home ministry has ordered extensive contact tracing from the religious gathering. At least 10 people in Andman has also tested coronavirus positive. Nine fo them had attended the event while the 10th person is a woman, whose husband was among the nine people who joined the Markaz.

Timeline of Nizamuddin Markaz coronavirus case

  1. March 13: Around 3,500 people gather at the Nizamuddin Markaz to take part in a religious event held by Tablig-e-Jamaat.
  2. March 16: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announces lockdown in Delhi. Religious, social, political gatherings of more than 50 people banned till March 31.
  3. March 20: 10 Indonesians who attended the gathering in Delhi test positive in Telangana.
  4. March 23: A day after PM Modi's Janata curfew, 1500 people vacate the Markaz.
  5. March 24: PM Modi announces lockdown. Police asks the remaining people at the Markaz Nizamuddin to vacate the area.
  6. March 25: A medical team visits the Markaz and isolate suspected cases within the building. Jamaat officials go to the SDM's office seeking permission to vacate.
  7. March 26: A preacher who attended the religious event at Nizamuddin Markaz tests positive and dies in Srinagar.
  8. March 27: Six coronavirus suspects are taken away from the Markaz for a medical checkup and are later put in a quarantine facility in Jhajjar, Haryana.
  9. March 28: WHO team along with local officials visit the Markaz. 33 people showing symptoms of the deadly COVID-19 sent to Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital.
  10. March 28: Delhi police sends a notice to the Markaz Nizamuddin to vacate immediately.
  11. March 29: Markaz says that people gathered before the lockdown and that no new people were allowed post the nation-wide lockdown.
  12. March 30: 9 people, who attended the Nizamuddin congregation, test positive in Andaman. Police and health authorities start evacuating the Markaz.
  13. March 31: At least 24 people who were at the Markaz tests positive for coronavirus. People from the Markaz sent to hospitals and quarantine facilities in parts of Delhi.