The Punjab government on Tuesday gave a 24-hour deadline to all those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi last month, but went into hiding, to report to the nearest police station or else face criminal prosecution. A spokesperson of the state health department said all those, who attended the congregation and were currently in Punjab, should report and appear for COVID-19 screening within the next 24 hours.
Out of the 467 people who attended the religious gathering, the Punjab Police have traced 445 persons so far, the spokesperson said.
Of them, 350 have undergone coronavirus tests and 12 have tested positive for the infection. The results of 111 samples have tested negative, spokesperson said. The results for the remaining 227 were awaited, said the spokesperson.
Due to the sensitivity of the issue, the remaining Tabligi Jamaat participants have been asked to come out for testing and join hands with the state government to eliminate this disease from the country, spokesperson said.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has already issued an advisory on March 28 and, in its continuation, reiterated its directions to all the Chief Secretaries/Advisors to Administrators of all States/UTs and DGPs in this regard on April 4.
The Tabligh-e-Jamaat''s Markaz in Nizamuddin West had emerged as a hotspot of coronavirus, following which a major area had been sealed and an FIR lodged against its cleric for violating government orders.
Authorities across the country have swung into action to trace the contacts of those who went to the gathering, attended by hundreds of people, including from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.