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April 6, 2020

Thousands quarantined in Lahore

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April 6, 2020

LAHORE: More than 20,000 preachers have been quarantined and a search is going on for tens of thousands more who attended an Islamic gathering in Lahore last month, officials said Sunday.

Authorities said they want to test or quarantine those who congregated at the event between March 10 and 12 over fears they are now spreading COVID-19. More than 100,000 people went to the meeting, organisers said. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, authorities have so far quarantined 5,300 preachers who attended the Lahore meeting.

"Health officials are conducting tests for coronavirus and some of them have tested positive," Ajmal Wazir, a spokesperson for the region, told AFP on Sunday. Wazir said thousands of preachers from his province were stranded in other regions because of closure of major highways across the country.

About 7,000 have been quarantined in the Lahore, while in southern Sindh province up to 8,000 preachers have been quarantined, government officials said. Dozens more have been quarantined in Balochistan province. It may be mentioned that India’s Tablighi Jamaat’s Maulana Saad Kandhlawi had urged his fraternity to stay inside their homes and avoid gatherings.

“We should avoid gathering at places and follow what the government and law want us to do. It is also our duty to provide support and help to them in these times,” Maulana Saad appealed to all members of Tablighi Jamaat through an audio message. “Quarantine yourself, no matter where you are, it is not against Islam or Shariyat,” he added.