Covid-19: Minority Panel Says Nizumaddin Meeting Caused 'Great Damage'; seeks strict compliance with the blockade by madarsas

NEW DELHI: Claiming that the congregation in the area has caused great harm to the government's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, on Wednesday asked states to ensure strict enforcement of the blockade by madrasas and elsewhere religious.

In a letter to the top secretaries of the union states and territories, Chief Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said the Nizamuddin incident was a serious violation of the blockade and has endangered the lives of fellow citizens.

Strict measures must be taken against violators. Local religious leaders can also be cornered so that people are aware of the blockade's guidelines and avoid any gatherings in those places, he said.

India recorded 386 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the count to 1,637 in the country, the government said on Wednesday, and related the sharp increase in the number of cases to the Tablighi meeting since early March in Nizamuddin, which has become the new epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu.

The incident has done great damage to the government's efforts to contain the virus, Rizvi said.

The government has imposed a 21-day national blockade since March 25 to stem the spread of the virus, which has claimed more than 42,000 lives worldwide and infected more than 8.7 lakh people in 183 countries.

Noting that Friday prayers and other religious congregations have already stopped at all religious sites in the country, Rizvi said the move was appreciable.