The most surprising part was that none of the workers had baggage with them. India TV reporters, who rushed to the spot, revealed that most of the workers hailed from Malda, West Bengal.
In Delhi alone, police nabbed nearly 900 workers from mosques and other places. Police officials say, underground workers of the Jamaat may now be hiding with families, and it will be a very difficult task to trace them, as they have switched off their cellphones.
There are at present more than 5 lakh Coronavirus cases in the US, out of which more than 1.6 lakh cases are in New York City alone. Out of more than 18,000 deaths in the US, New York alone accounts for nearly 8,000.
India recorded over 500 new Coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, taking the number of COVID-19 cases to 5,865 with the death toll at 169. Despite the three-week lockdown in force across the country, the figures are spiralling mainly because people are still not following lockdown and social distancing norms.
Fifteen days of patience during lockdown went up in smoke on Wednesday when rumours circulated on social media in several cities of Uttar Pradesh that the government has "sealed" 15 districts. Thousands of people flocked to shops and markets in Noida, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Rampur, Saharanpur, Kanpur, Unnao, Kannauj and other cities and went into panic buying mode, stocking up on vegetables and essential grocery items.
In the national capital, the Coronavirus figures would have been under control but for the Tablighi Jamaat. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is doing his best and is fully cooperating with the Centre to contain the spread of the virus.
The Jamaat leaders must understand that spitting in public places in Saudi Arabia invites death punishment and hiding travel history details in that country invite a fine upto Rs 1 crore. This is not the case in India.
Anti-social elements are posting objectionable videos on TikTok and WhatsApp asking people to flout all Coronavirus precautions. They are asking people to defy social distancing rules by hugging and shaking hands. Some of them are inciting people in the name of Islam by claiming that wearing of masks is un-Islamic. Some others are trying to link the pandemic with the NRC issue.
I want to ask the people of Indore who spat and pelted stones at doctors a question. Tell me, were these lady doctors committing a crime? They were only doing their duty in this hour of national crisis, trying to find out persons who came in contact with Coronavirus victims.
The Maulana and his followers must realize that they have deliberately foiled the well-laid-out government plan of 21 days' lockdown by spreading the virus. The sooner the Maulana comes out of hiding and cooperates with the government, the better it will be.
More than 450 people now have virus symptoms, 24 persons staying at the Markaz were found positive, so far 10 people have died of virus after coming into contact with the followers, and right now, a nationwide hunt is on to track the thousands of followers who dispersed from the congregation.
Late at night, the Centre directed that the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to be converted into a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients in view of the Nizamuddin incident. The UP police directed its SPs in 19 districts to trace all those people who had attended the Tableeghi Jamaat Markaz (centre) gathering.
What can be done with thousands of workers cramming inside buses? Is social distancing possible? Will it not multiply the spread of the virus to unimaginable proportions, with people carrying this virus to their villages and infecting others?
There is no way out for India from this pandemic without enforcing a nationwide lockdown. If we have to save ourselves and our children, lockdown is a must.
I have been in the field of journalism for 37 years. I have seen from close range, many Prime Ministers working in times of crisis. The manner in which Prime Minister Modi has handled this global pandemic is praiseworthy. He deserves our fullest support in this hour of national crisis.
If we make mistakes and defy lockdowns, the consequences will be terrible. The death toll will mount rapidly and there will be hardly anybody left to collect the bodies from the roadside.
While speaking to news broadcasters on Monday, the Prime Minister spoke about a lady doctor who told AIIMS director “I am treating patients of Coronavirus fearlessly, but I have old parents at home, if something happens to me please taken care of them” The Prime Minister had tears in his eyes when he narrated this.
On Friday night in my show Aaj Ki Baat, I showed the video of a Coronavirus female patient speaking from her ICU bed and imploring all not to take this deadly virus lightly.
The two words which he emphasized repeatedly were "sanyam" (restraint) and "sankalp" (determination). Remember, coronavirus hits large number of people suddenly. Let us not be complacent while thinking it may not hit us with the same magnitude with which it hit other countries.
Extreme caution is the need of the hour. We must stop the Coronavirus from spreading. Everybody, whether he or she has come from abroad, or anybody who has come in contact with persons having virus symptoms must undergo 14 days' self-quarantine and submit for tests.