Two days after the detection of three COVID-19 cases in the UT, including a CISF personnel residing in Daria village, two Delhi natives residing in Daria village tested positive on Wednesday, leaving the health and administrative officials in a tizzy with the suspicion that the village can be the next hotspot for COVID-19 cases.
Daria village, situated next to Chandigarh Railway Station, has a population of over 45,000 people, including around 6,000 permanent residents, while many natives of UP, Bihar and Himachal, among others, are settled in small cluster of houses here, since long.
Known for cheap hotels, motels and restaurants, the village is home to at least 39 big and small hotels. They all have been shut. As phase-1 and phase-2 of Industrial Area adjoins the village, thousands of its residents are employed in small scale and big industries of Chandigarh.
Some of the LPG companies also have their godowns in the village.
Former village sarpanch and a local leader, Gurpreet Singh Happy said, “The CISF constable, his wife and child tested positive two days back. At least 57 people, including seven children have been quarantined at the community centre in Sector 47. The administrative officials urged me to arrange for the stay of the quarantined people at my Hotel Preet situated inside the village. But as the positive cases have started coming, I am re-thinking my decision to provide my hotel for quarantine. I am sure, the cases will rise in the coming days. I am in the touch with area SDM Sudhanshu Gautam.”
The two who tested psoitive are brothers, Rahul, 30, and Chetan, 24. They had come to Chandigarh from Delhi a fortnight back and were asymptomatic. Rahul is married to a woman of Daria village and he along with his brother had come to his in-laws’ house. The UT health department informed its counterpart in Delhi.
A nodal officer for tracing the contacts of COVID-19 positive, Anil Garg said, “Health department teams were dispatched to Daria village. At least 57 people have been quarantined till now. Cases in Daria village is alarming. The Health department is making a strategy to combat it.”
A local resident, Vishal Thakur said, “We are scared. It is a tough time. The CISF personnel’s family resides two streets next to my house. That particular area was sealed. As Daria is a congested locality and most of residents have shops of grocery items, confectionery items, beauty parlours, small offices etc in their houses, chances of spread of COVID-19 here are huge.”
Earlier, a Bapu Dham Colony (BDC)-26 resident, Sanjay Mishra, who had taken shelter at Daria village and was subsequently arrested for assaulting a policeman on May 22, was found COVID-19 positive. However, the health department had not managed to trace his contact history and no one from the village was quarantined.
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