The Tableeghi Jamaat continues to be the ‘superspreader’ in South East Asia, especially in Malaysia, India and Pakistan. The Jamaat had organised its annual mass assembly at Raiwind Markaz in March despite strong opposition by Pakistan’s Punjab provincial government, Dawn reports.
According to Pakistan authorities, about 80,000 Jamaatis had attended the congregation at the Raiwind Markaz on March 10. Of them, 3,000 had arrived from 40 countries, including the US, England and the Philippines, and were unable to return to their home countries since Pakistan had halted all international flights when Covid-19 pandemic situation worsened. They are among those local members of the community who are currently quarantined at the Raiwind Markaz where many preachers have tested positive for the virus.
Presently, the Raiwind city, home to 200,000 population, has been locked completely down after hundreds of the members of the Tableeghi Jamaat tested positive for the Covid-19. Every day the number of cases is recording a steady rise with Punjab, the epicentre in Pakistan, registering more than 2000 cases on April 8.
Although the Jamaat reduced the number of days of the conference from six to three, around 5,000, including 3,000, foreigners are still there in Markaz which was later declared a quarantine centre when confirmed cases of the virus started appearing in a large number, Dawn reported.
The incorrigible Jamaatis continue to carry out their preaching despite appeals by the administration. According to the report, about 10,263, who had attended the Jamaat event in March, have been quarantined in all 36 districts of Punjab. The challenge before the authorities is to identify these Jamaatis who a big source of spread of the virus if not traced and quarantined timely.