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Once Demonized, Tablighi Jamaat Members Now Hailed As ‘Heroes’ In India

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Maligned as the chief carriers of coronavirus in India, about 300 members of the Tablighi Jamaat who recovered from the deadly infection have agreed to donate their blood plasma for the treatment of other patients.

The first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramzan witnessed the donation of blood samples from about 300 recovered members of the Tablighi Jamaat in New Delhi. About 190 recovered cases from Narela, 51 from Sultanpur and 42 from Mangoli have been found eligible to donate blood plasma to other patients undergoing treatment for novel coronavirus.

It is mandatory for the donors of blood plasma to have recovered from the COVID-19 infection without any symptoms, for at least 28 days or, should have been free of any symptoms and have tested negative for the virus at least 14 days before the plasma can be used.

The move was made one day after the Chief Minister of Indian capital New Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the recovered patients of Tablighi Jamaat to donate their blood plasma since some reports have indicated that convalescent plasma, which is obtained from an individual who has recuperated from an infection could be utilized to treat severely ill COVID-19 patients and clinical trials for the same have been approved in multiple countries, including in India.

The CM had asked the members of Tablighi Jamaat to “Come forward and donate plasma. We all want to recover and survive the coronavirus crisis. If tomorrow, a patient is Hindu and is serious, who knows maybe the plasma of a Muslim person can save him or if a Muslim patient is serious, maybe the plasma of a Hindu person can save him,” the CM said on Sunday.

The COVID-19 cases in India took a communal turn last month when over 2,500 Muslims were evacuated from the Nizamuddin Markaz in March-end who were part of a Tablighi Jamaat event which took place between March 10 and 13.

About 1500 of these evacuated Tablighi Jamaat members were found to be infected with the novel coronavirus and thus, began the expanse of viral islamophobia amidst the pandemic.

Despite the communal conundrum, the news of Plasma therapy has been received with hope. The Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who was booked for culpable homicide after the Jamaat event issued a letter that urged the recovered members of Tablighi Jamaat to help with the plasma therapy and said that “It is my humble request to all Muslims and especially da’wah workers who receive this message to come forward and show this act of kindness to humanity, and help the society and government by donating blood plasma to a sick person.”

The Delhi state government will soon procure signed copies of the consent of the eligible donors before further proceeding with the Plasma Therapy Procedure.

Vipasha Kaushal

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