Indian authorities yesterday stopped eight Malaysians who were believed to have attended a tabligh gathering in New Delhi last month, from boarding a special flight to Malaysia.

The gathering at the Nizamuddin neighbourhood in the capital city has since become a source of COVID-19 infections in India.

"Eight Malaysian citizens who were about to board a special flight to Malaysia were caught at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport today.

"Sources said they were part of the Tablighi Jamaat Centre at Nizamuddin," said a report by Delhi-based news company NDTV, quoting sources.

The eight have since been handed over to the Delhi police and Health Department for investigation.

Malaysia is among countries that have arranged special flights to fly its citizens stranded abroad, home, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world.

The detained eight were among 20 Malaysians, who joined an 8,000 strong, two-day (March 8-10) tabligh gathering in Delhi last month, despite the Indian government cautioning about COVID-19 and social distancing then.

The gathering has since set of the biggest infection cluster in India, and has also caused cases in other regions.

The Indian Home Ministry has also said that it would blacklist foreigners who attended the gathering using tourists visas, as they are not allowed to do so.

There are more than 4,000 cases of COVID-19 in India, with at least 124 deaths.

Globally, more than 1.2 million people have been infected, and over 69,000 people have died from the disease.

Source: NDTV, Bernama
Photo source: Reuters via Malaysiakini