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Remaining pilgrims to be sent back after testing for Covid: Nanded authorities

If all the remaining pilgrims test negative, the district administration will start talking with the respective state governments about plans to send them back home.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Published: May 11, 2020 11:20:01 pm
Sikh Pilgrims, Nanded, Madhya Pradesh Pilgrims Nanded is currently in the ‘orange zone’ after a steady rise in the number of cases. (Representational)

Nanded district authorities have decided to test over 200 pilgrims, who are still stranded in the city and living on the premises of the Shri Hazur Sahib Gurudwara, for coronavirus. Speaking to the media on Monday, District Collector Vipin Itankar said the pilgrims were from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Harayana, and they will undergo Covid-19 tests before they are allowed to leave Nanded.

“More than 100 have been tested, of whom only seven have tested positive. The testing of the others will be completed soon,” he said. If all remaining pilgrims test negative, the district administration will start talking with the respective state governments about plans to send them back home, said Itankar.

Earlier this month, authorities of both Punjab and Maharashtra were rattled when hundreds of Sikh pilgrims, who returned from Nanded, had tested positive for Covid- 19. The pilgrims had been stranded in Nanded for over a month due to the lockdown, and had stayed in Gurdwara Langar Sahib, associated with Takht Hazur Sahib, one of the five temporal seats of Sikhism, for over a month.

District authorities of Nanded had claimed that the pilgrims were screened multiple times before they were allowed to leave for their homes in Punjab.

Nanded is currently in the ‘orange zone’ after a steady rise in the number of cases. Most of the cases are from areas located near the shrine and other parts of the city. While some districts in the state have allowed relaxations in the nationwide lockdown, Nanded has been placed under strict lockdown.

The district has enough testing kits and contact tracing of all cases is being carried out aggressively, said Itankar.

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