Coronavirus: Punjab sees sharp spike in cases, 9 Nanded pilgrims test positive, count goes to 331

Punjab sees a sharp spike in coronavirus cases with nine pilgrims, out of 3500 who were brought back by the state govt from Hazur Sahib in Nanded on Monday, testing positive for the deadly virus

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media

Bipin Bhardwaj

Punjab sees a sharp spike in coronavirus cases with nine pilgrims, out of 3500 who were brought back by the state government from Hazur Sahib in Nanded on Monday late night, testing positive for the deadly virus.

According to reports, nine pilgrims belong to the Tarn Taran district while three are from Kapurthala. The total number of coronavirus positive cases has gone to 331 followings which the government has instructed the Deputy Commissioners to keep all pilgrims, returning from Hazur Sahib, in quarantine facilities.

With the arrival of five corona cases, Tarn Taran district, which was in green zone so far, has lost the tag. All patients are aged between 45 and 62 and belong to Sursingh village along the Indo-Pak border. They had been to Hazur Sahib to pay obeisance and were brought back on Monday by buses sent by the state government to Maharashtra to rescue about 3500 stranded pilgrims in Nanded.

The returnee patients have been admitted to the isolation ward of the local civil hospital, Tarn Taran. The administration has sealed the village, the district administration claimed.

Declared COVID-free on Sunday, Kapurthala district has three patients now. All three are members of a family and include a 58-year-old woman, her 38-year-old son and his 11-year-old daughter. They have been kept in the isolation ward of civil hospital, Kapurthala. Punjab is yet to receive more pilgrims from various religious institutions located in other states.

The huge influx of returnees is likely to worsen the situation if more of them are found infected.

According to an official spokesperson of the government, 467 pilgrims reached Bathinda on Monday evening in 13 Punjab Government buses from Nanded and were on their way to their respective home towns/cities/villages. Another lot of buses have started leaving for Nanded to bring back more pilgrims.

Even as stranded pilgrims from Nanded, labourers and students from Rajasthan, continued to reach home in Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh led government on Monday had contacted the Delhi government to facilitate safe evacuation of 250 Sikh pilgrims stuck at the Sri Majnu Ka Tila gurdwara in the national capital due to the lockdown.

State Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Satish Chandra has written to Deputy Commission (Central) New Delhi Nidhi Srivastava, seeking expeditious permission of the Delhi Government to facilitate the safe return of the stranded pilgrims from the Delhi gurdwara, through special Punjab Government buses.

The spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that 152 students, stranded in Kota, were brought back to Punjab in specially hired buses up to Bathinda, from where they had been transported to their respective destinations through state run buses. Apart from these, 2900 labourers belonging to Punjab are returning to the state from Jaisalmer, where they were stranded in five relief camps. They are expected to reach Punjab on Tuesday morning via the Ganganagar state entry point.

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