Nanded returnees, students among 11 test positive in Ludhiana
An eight-year-old boy is the youngest among the patients, while a 62-year-old woman the eldest among them.Updated: Apr 29, 2020 21:24 IST
Seven pilgrims from Hazur Sahib in Nanded, Maharashtra, and four students from Kota, Rajasthan — who had reached Ludhiana on Sunday and Monday, respectively — have tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), taking the district tally to 29.
Confirming the same, Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga said all the 11 patients were asymptomatic.
An eight-year-old boy is the youngest among the patients, while a 62-year-old woman the eldest among them. While four are from Samrala, the rest are from Moti Nagar, Neechi Mangli, Sandhu Nagar, Hargobind Nagar, Chander Nagar, Amarpura and Shimlapuri areas in the city.
The pilgrims are among 56 and the students are among 25 currently quarantined at the Mother and Child Hospital on Chandigarh Road.
Senior medical officer (SMO) of the hospital, Dr Amita Jain, said the samples of 22 students and 18 pilgrims, who are at high risk, were sent for testing at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), while the remaining to the Rajindra Hospital in Patiala.
Following the developments, district health authorities along with the administration and the police conducted an emergency meeting at Bachat Bhawan on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the future course of action.
Meanwhile, four buses ferrying nearly 156 pilgrims arrived at the civil hospital in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Health department officials called pilgrims in batches of five and asked them to sit in the buses after collecting their swab samples. Deputy commissioner Pradeep Agrawal said the pilgrims will be shifted to a suitable location. Earlier on Tuesday, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh had stated that the pilgrims arriving from Nanded will be kept at the Radha Swami Satsang Ghars.
On the back foot for having sent the pilgrims and students back to their respective houses after screening them, the health department is now tracking and tracing the people who had come in contact with the 11 patients who tested positive on Wednesday.
The administration, which had earlier escorted the pilgrims and students to their homes in taxis and PCR vehicles after the screening, turned up at their homes on Tuesday to take them back to the hospital at Chandigarh Road. Sources said some of the pilgrims and students were reluctant to visit the hospital.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Jeevan Gupta demanded a probe and strict action against the health official concerned “for sending the pilgrims and students back to their houses after conducting a mere health screening”.
“The authorities in Ludhiana swung into action only after cases surfaced in Tarn Taran, otherwise the asymptomatic patients, who were tested positive today, would have kept spreading the virus,” Gupta said.
However, civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga said the screening was done as per protocol.