Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Nizamuddi.
Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Nizamuddi.
PTI

An 80-year-old South African Muslim cleric, who recently returned from India after attending the Nizamuddin congregation, has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, according to his family members.

Moulana Yusuf Tootla attended the March 1-15 Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Nizmuddin area, that has emerged as the epicentre for the spread of the coronavirus in different parts of India and abroad after thousands of people took part in it.

Tootla, who died on Tuesday, was buried after his body was collected in a bag by the Islamic Burial Council (IBC).

The Nizamuddin area is famed for the shrine of the 14h century Sufi mystic Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya.

Indian authorities have launched a nationwide search for participants of the huge religious gathering amid fears that thousands present there could have carried the infection to the length and breadth of the country.

Various nationals, particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan come for Tabligh activities in Delhi.

Tootla's daughter Saeeda, while speaking to South Africa's online publication News24, said that the cleric began showing flu-like symptoms on his return from India.

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