Govt Hypes Jamaat Role In COVID Spread Despite Guidelines Against Stigmatization

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Govt Hypes Jamaat Role In COVID Spread Despite Guidelines Against Stigmatization

Recently due to an event of Tabligh Jamaat at Nizamuddin area in New Delhi, a gathering of people occurred thus breaking the lockdown although this gathering took place before the announcement of the lockdown.

The Central government has accused the Tabligh jamaat of the spreading of coronavirus as they broke the lockdown.

In his daily media briefing on Saturday, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), has again made a briefing related to the role of Tabligh Jamaat, saying that of the 14,378 positive COVID-19 cases nationwide, 4,291 of them were linked to its gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area.

Despite guidelines released by the ministry on April 8, which says not to label any area or community for the spread of COVID-19, accusations like Tabligh jamaat responsible for COVID-19 spread are being made.

The WHO has also warned the governments and media persons not to stigmatize any section of the population, which upon made will mean that people are being labeled, stereotyped.

Further warning it said that stigmatizing has harmful effects as infected people would avoid coming to the front because of the fear of being discriminated, which could lead to a national health problem.

The bad effects of stereotyping have already started to reflect in some parts of the country where some Hindu communities have started boycotting Muslim vendors and they are even probing to violence.

Although the consequences of stigmatizing were visible, yet, the ministry spokesperson said that 29.8 per-cent approximately of the total cases are due to the Tabligh jamaat or he said that it can be interpreted that in 23 states cases have been found which were of Tabligh jamaat.

Moreover, much Indian news has also been headlining the Tabligh jamaat event responsible for the spread of COVID-19.

For example, ABP News reported that ‘Tablighi Jamaat Responsible For 30% Total Coronavirus Cases In India: Health Ministry.”

Without clarifying that the Tablighi event took place before Prime Minister Narendra Modi first flagged the need for social distancing in his televised address on March 19, Agarwal said he was bringing the data about the Tablighi Jamaat to the attention of the media “only because even if just one person doesn’t adhere to the government’s rules on social distancing and lockdown, there can be consequences for the country.”

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