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People from Markaz building wear a protective mask as they walk to board a bus that will be taken to the hospital amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus disease at Nizamuddin Area in New Delhi on Tuesday. Image Credit: ANI

Hyderabad: The death toll due to coronavirus in Telangana has increased to six, with five more deaths reported late on Monday night. A late night press release from Telangana Chief Minister’s Office said that the state has recorded six deaths due to coronavirus. All of them had allegedly participated in a religious congregation of Tableeghi Jamat at Nizamuddin in New Delhi.

The congregation was held from March 13 to 15 - well before the countrywide lockdown was announced. Approximately 380 people from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were among those who attended the congregation. Now some have tested positive. An official press release said that 265 people who had attended the congregation from Andhra Pradesh were identified and sent to isolation centres in Guntur, Prakasham and Nellore districts.

A search was on for the other participants and their contacts.

Four of the six deaths were in Hyderabad and one each in Nizamabad and Gadwal, the press release said without giving the dates.

Special teams were constituted, headed by the district collectors, (heads of administration) to identify all those who attended the meeting and who late came into contact with them.

They were shifted to hospitals and were being treated, the release said.

The state government has appealed to all those who had attended the gathering to come forward and undergo tests for their own safety.

Tableeghi Jamat is an Islamic preachers’ organisation active in several countries specially in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Banglewali mosque in Nizamuddin in New Delhi is the national headquarter of the organisation.

Jamaat statement

The Markaz released a statement saying that visitors/guests/devotees/worshippers from across the globe "throng the place for pre- scheduled programs lasting for no more than 3-5 days. All the programmes are decided a year in advance in order to facilitate visitors from far-off places to plan their participation. When Hon’ble Prime Minister announced the 'Janta Curfew', for March 22, the ongoing programme in Markaz Nizamuddin was discontinued immediately, however due to sudden cancellation of rail services across the country on March 21, 2020, a large group of visitors who had to depart by way of railways got stuck in the Markaz premises."