Nanded returnees pose fresh challenge to Punjab govt
The health department that initially decided to put these pilgrims in home quarantine changed its tack and called back the pilgrims from their houses and quarantined them in government facilitiesUpdated: Apr 29, 2020 00:17 IST
With 11 of 300 pilgrims, who arrived from Hazur Sahib till Monday, found positive for Covid-19, bringing back more than 3,500 stranded Punjab residents from Maharashtra without compromising with the safety of others has posed a fresh challenge to the state government.
The health department that initially decided to put these pilgrims in home quarantine changed its tack and called back the pilgrims from their houses and quarantined them in government facilities.
As per a notification issued by principal secretary, health and family welfare, Anurag Aggarwal, deputy commissioners have been asked to fix the routes for the entry of these pilgrims and quarantine them under government observation.
The department has also decided to take samples of all entering the state on arrival.
3 fresh cases, 11 patients now have Nanded link
Two more Nanded returnees, including an 11-year-old child, tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Tarn Taran, while one pilgrim tested positive in Moranwali village of Hoshiarpur on Tuesday. With this the total number of positive patients who had returned from Nanded has reached 11.
In Tarn Taran, a 60-year-old man and his grandchild tested positive for Covid-19. They are residents of Khemkaran, said Taran Tarn civil surgeon Dr Anoop Kumar. Now, there are eight Covid-19 cases in the district.
The two patients were part of a group of 11 persons who returned from Nanded in a tempo-traveller on Sunday. All 11, belong to Khemkaran—a gram panchayat that falls under the Bhikhiwind sub-division—and its two adjoining hamlets, were tested on Monday after their driver was tested positive in Maharashtra.
On Monday, five men from Sursingh village of the district had also tested positive. The five had returned from Nanded a week ago. The eighth patient in the district is a woman who recently delivered a child.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Pardeep Kumar Sabharwal said, “Two of the 11 people who had returned to the state from Hazur Sahib have tested positive. Three returnees had tested positive in Kapurthala on Monday.”
Around 3,000-odd pilgrims had got stranded in Hazur Sahib, one of the five temporal seats of Sikhs, in Nanded district of Maharashtra after imposition of a nationwide lockdown.
Hoshiarpur civil surgeon Dr Jasbir Singh said samples of 16 other pilgrims have been sent for testing and results are awaited.
42 pilgrims quarantined in Amritsar, 56 in Ludhiana
After 11 Hazur Sahib pilgrims tested positive for Covid-19 in Kapurthala (3), Tarn Taran (7) and Hoshiarpur (1) districts, the Amritsar administration on Tuesday brought back 42 shrine-returnees, who were sent home on Sunday, to institutional quarantine centres here.
As per information, these pilgrims had returned to Amritsar from Nanded on Sunday and were screened by health department personnel at a dispensary here. As none of them showed any symptom of Covid-19, they were sent home with the directions of 14-day home quarantine.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Shivdular Singh Dhillon said special teams were sent to the homes of these people to bring them to quarantine centres, so that the virus could not spread further if any of them had the infection.
Meanwhile, Ludhiana health department sent 56 pilgrims, and 25 students who had returned from Kota, Rajasthan, to a quarantine facility at Mother and Child Hospital on Chandigarh road.
Hospital’s senior medical officer Dr Amita Jain said samples of all the people are being collected for testing.
Also, 98 pilgrims arrived in Gurdaspur in three special buses on Tuesday. They have been quarantined at Naushehra Majha Singh village, deputy commissioner Mohammad Ishfaq said.
2,585 labourers reach Abohar
As many as 2,585 labourers belonging to different areas of Punjab reached from Rajasthan in Abohar on Tuesday.
The labourers were ferried from Ratangarh, Mohangarh and Jaisalmail of Rajasthan by the state government in 61 buses and all of them were screened medically. They will be quarantined in their home districts in state government’s facilities.
Among the labourers, 1,104 are from Fazilka, 683 from Muktsar, 300 Bathinda, 217 Faridkot, 57 Ferozepur, 23 Mansa, 20 Patiala, 15 Jalandhar, 11 Ludhiana and 32 Moga, 20 Barnala, 29 Kapurthala and 74 from Sangrur.