Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said an estimated 73 Bangladeshis were quarantined as Indian authorities detained in isolation some 2,000 Tabligh activists at the religious mission’s headquarters in Delhi in India, fearing it to have turned into a COVID-19 cluster.
‘Our High Commission in Delhi has reported that 73 of the quarantined people at the Tabligh Jamaat’s main centre are Bangladeshis,’ Momen told BSS.
He, however, added that Dhaka was yet to confirm about the total number of Bangladeshi Tabligh activists who reportedly spread in different parts of India defying COVID-19 alarms and restrictions along with Indians and nationals of some other countries.
‘Dhaka has no information about their whereabouts either in India,’ Momen said as asked about of the Indian home ministry official stated that 493 Bangladeshis were now in India as part of the Tabligh Jamaat’s religious mission.
Momen said the report was embarrassing for Dhaka as the Bangladeshi nationals visibly violated the COVID-19 restrictions while other reports suggested the Tabligh Jamaat’s main centre at Delhi’s Nizamuddin area virtually turned to be a COVID-19 cluster.
The foreign minister, however, said Dhaka planned to return nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis who went to India on other purposes and became stranded there.
He said Dhaka would take back as well the Bangladeshi Tabligh activists in India who were tested COVID negative and send them to mandatory 14-day home quarantine on their return.
He said the foreign ministry asked the Bangladesh mission in Delhi to prepare a list of stranded Bangladeshis for their return under a special arrangement in their own cost.
A three-day Tabligh Jamaat event was held from March 13 to 15 in Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi where many attendees were tested Covid-19 positive after their evacuation from the site recently.
Meanwhile, Indian media reports said Tabligh headquarters called back all the foreign Tabligh teams who spread across India in line with the country’s home ministry’s directive.
On Wednesday, the Indian home ministry said as many as, 2,000 foreigners from 70 countries including 493 from Bangladesh, who went to India on Tabligh mission spread over several Indian states as potential carriers of COVID-19.
According to the Indian home office, of the Tabligh activists on tour across the country, 472 were Indonesians, 150 were Malaysians and 142 were Thai nationals.
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