Covid crept up on ‘healthy’ Nanded-returnees in Mohali
15 pilgrims who had come back to Mohali via a 2,200km bus ride said they never thought they would catch coronavirus infection, while health authorities say they were asymptomaticUpdated: Apr 30, 2020 23:09 IST
A 2,200-km bus ride filled with hope and optimism ended in despair for many pilgrims from Takht Hazur Sahib, Nanded, Maharashtra, two days after they reached Mohali. We had full faith in almighty and never thought we would catch the infection, they said, after 15 of them tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), bringing to the fore the risks and dangers of transporting people in such situations.
In the past two days, 57 pilgrims have arrived in Mohali, out of which 60% are women. Most of these are from villages including Premgarh near Aerocity, Manakmajra, Amrala, Badana, Raipur Khurd and Sainimajra. All 15 who tested positive have been kept at the Gian Sagar Hospital in Banur for 14 days. The district case tally now stands at 84.
Speaking to HT, a 58-year-old man from Premgarh, who tested positive, said, “Seventeen members of our family, including those from other villages, had also accompanied us on the religious tour, and 13 of them have tested positive. We had no symptoms as all of us were hale and hearty. I have yet to believe that I am a Covid patient and could have passed on the infection to others in the bus.”
Another among the patients, a 55-year-old woman from Amrala village in Dera Bassi, said, “We left for Hazur Sahib on March 18 and were happy to visit the holy shrine. Stranded in Maharashtra due to the nationwide lockdown, we had no problem at all, but coming all the way to Mohali and being told that we have been infected has shattered us. I was excited to meet my family members, but now again I have to stay away from them for 14 days.”
A 54-year-old patient from Premgarh said, “Not even a single person in the bus had any health problem, not even a mild headache. We travelled for more than 2,200km, all fine, but fail to understand how reports have come out positive. There must be something wrong with the reports.”
Meanwhile, Mohali civil surgeon Dr Manjit Singh said, “Most of the patients tested positive are asymptomatic and all are responding well to the treatment. We have to quarantine them to stop further spread of the disease.”