As many as 20 sevakaris of a gurdwara in Nanded, in which stranded pilgrims from Punjab had stayed during the lockdown, have tested positive for coronavirus. The number of COVID-19 cases in Nanded, which had reported six patients and two deaths till now, rose to 26 on Saturday.
District authorities have now sealed off the area near the Gurudwara Shri Langar Sahib and started the process of tracing high-risk contacts of those infected.
Over 300 pilgrims from Punjab, who were stranded in Nanded due to the nationwide lockdown and later sent home in special buses, had tested positive after they reached their home state.
The pilgrims who had tested positive had stayed in the historic gurdwara. After so many pilgrims tested positive, the sevakaris of the gurdwara, those who serve in the shrine, were tested and 20 of them were found to be positive.
District authorities have claimed that the pilgrims had been screened four times during their stay and they had not shown any signs of infection. They also claimed the pilgrims had been screened before they boarded the buses.
Nanded authorities believe that the pilgrims picked up the infection during their travel back to Punjab, which took them through cities such as Indore and Bhilwara, which have reported a large number of COVID-19 cases.
BJP MP from Nanded Pratap Patil Chikhalihar said the rise in the number of cases was a cause of worry for district authorities. “I am coordinating with authorities about the situation and have kept a very close watch on it,” he said.
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