The third edition of Essentials of Medical Microbiology, a reference book for second-year MBBS students in Maharashtra, which had linked Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in New Delhi to the outbreak of the coronavirus, has been withdrawn after objections were raised against those parts of its content, an official confirmed on Friday. The authors, Dr Apurba Sastry and Sr Sandhya Bhat have also issued an apology "if they inadvertently hurt the sentiments of a group of people". Additionally, the authors have assured necessary changes in the new edition.
The Students Islamic Organisation had objected to the book's claim stating that there is no epidemiological study that established that the congregation accelerated the spread of COVID-19.
The Tablighi Jamaat congregation was held in March 2020. After several attendees contracted COVID-19, many were arrested, and legal action was taken on them for allegedly having violated lockdown restrictions. Many delegates from other countries were detained in prisons for several months before they were released either on payment of fines or under court orders. At one point immediately after the congregation was disbanded, state governments had made it a routine to mention the number of people who attended the congregation among the daily toll of corona virus - a practice that subsequently got suspended.
Courts in different parts of the country later dismissed many cases charged against them, stating that there is no evidence to prove the attendees as coronavirus spreaders.