SEVEN PERSONS from two districts – Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur – of the Doaba region, the NRI belt of Punjab, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Of them, six are relatives of the 70-year-old COVID-19 patient who had died on March 18 in Nawanshahr’s Pathlava village, while the seventh is a 60-year-old man from Hoshiarpur who had also come in contact with the deceased.
Of the 13 cases reported in Punjab so far, 8 are now from Doaba, including the deceased.
The state department of health and family welfare said three sons, a daughter-in-law, a daughter and a granddaughter of the 70-year-old man who died on March 18 had contracted the virus. All of them have been kept in isolation in the civil hospital and are stable. The reports of 12 more people from the village are awaited.
News of the six relatives testing positive has made residents of Pathlava quite fearful. On Saturday, most of them stayed home. The village was sealed on Thursday, but some people were still seen interacting with others.
Deputy commissioners (DCs) of Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur have imposed Section 144 of CrPC till March 25. All shops and markets will remain closed in both districts, except for supply of essential commodities. Chemists, hospitals, ATMs, departmental stores, dairy, food, petrol pumps will remain operational. The seventh case, the 60-year-old man from Garshankar in Hoshiarpur district, is also admitted in hospital and is stable. Samples of six of his family members were collected and tested negative. However, they have still been kept in isolation in Hoshiarpur. Samples of another person from Tanda in Hoshiarpur district, who had returned from Dubai recently and had shown some symptoms, have been collected and sent for tests.
The Indian Express had on Friday reported that the deceased had also visited the Holla Mohalla festival in Anandpur Sahib. Officials said he had also visited a family there, and they are now also under observation.
Granddaughter interacted with around 75 students in her class and school bus
The granddaughter of the COVID-19 patient, who was tested positive on Saturday, had appeared for exams recently and she had come in contact with around 75 students which include students of her class, school bus and examination centre. Nawanshahr DC Vinay Bublani said they have identified all students and they are being examined and will be put in quarantine. He also said that while the entire Pathlava village has been sealed, 200 people were put under surveillance Saturday.
Meanwhile, around 4500 NRIs are under home quarantine out of around 14,600 who have come to Punjab recently. Till date, Doaba’s four districts received a list of 14,600. “We got the list of 200 NRIs out of which 1,000 have been put under home quarantine and we are tracing the others,” said Civil Surgeon Hoshiarpur, Dr. Jasvir Singh. In Nawanshahr, out of the list of 3,700 NRIs, 1480 have been located and put under Home quarantines, said the DC.
In Jalandhar and Kapurthala, nearly 2000 NRIs have been quarantined. The DC issued an order under Section 144 CrPC, that people who have been home quarantined must not come out of their houses before May 20, and that action will be taken against violators of this rule. (Express News Service)
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