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Punjab: More curbs, tracking teams formed as quarantine-dodging NRIs spark alarm

The teams in Kapurthala need to locate around 4,000 NRIs. In Nawanshahr, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the region, that number is nearly 2,000.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba , Kanchan Vasdev | Chandigarh, Jalandhar | Updated: March 25, 2020 8:20:53 am
In Punjab, 200 teams to track down quarantine dodging NRIs Punjab has seen a huge inflow of NRIs following the coronavirus outbreak, especially in Europe.

Thousands of NRIs have been pouring into Punjab in the last few weeks, with several of them dodging home quarantine, or even running away from authorities looking to track them down. This has forced the government to form around 200 teams in the state’s Doaba region, which has a large NRI population, to track down such people and forcibly isolate them at home.

The NRI inflow has also prompted the state government to clamp down extremely stringent restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus.

As per the latest orders, there will be no general relaxations offered to people and they will be required to stay home. District administrations will ensure home delivery of essentials to the people.

Read| Coronavirus: How NRIs’ irresponsible behaviour puts Punjab at risk

The residents be allowed to step out only in the case of any emergency, and after getting a curfew pass from respective Deputy Commissioner.

More than 95,000 NRIs have arrived in Punjab in last three weeks. The government has only been able to identify and home quarantine 30,000 of them. “We are in the process of identifying the rest. We want to impose this stringent curfew for at least 15 days so that the virus does not spread in community. This is the only step possible to save the state from facing an epidemic, said a government official.

The Doaba region, which includes Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, and Kapurthala districts, has a total NRI population of around 55 lakh.

In Jalandhar, nearly 75 teams have been instituted, while Nawanshahr and Kapurthala districts have 26 and 63 teams, respectively, to catch those who are avoiding home quarantine.

The teams in Kapurthala need to locate around 4,000 NRIs. In Nawanshahr, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the region, that number is nearly 2,000.

On Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, went live on Facebook to stress the importance of continuing with the curfew. Strict action was being taken against those found violating the curfew, said the Chief Minister.

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