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Covid-19 outbreak: Cases confined to 7 Punjab districts, NRI belt worst-hit

The positive cases of coronavirus in Punjab are restricted to seven of the 22 districts so far, with nearly 65% infected patients belonging to the Doaba region, known as the state’s NRIs belt.Of...

Updated: Apr 02, 2020 23:13 IST

By Ravinder Vasudeva,

The positive cases of coronavirus in Punjab are restricted to seven of the 22 districts so far, with nearly 65% infected patients belonging to the Doaba region, known as the state’s NRIs belt.

Of a total of 47 cases, 31 have been reported from SBS Nagar (19), Hoshiarpur (7) and Jalandhar (5) districts — all falling in Doaba. No case has been reported in the region’s fourth district, Kapurthala, as yet.

The state’s other districts with positive cases are Mohali (10), Ludhiana (3), Amritsar (2) and Patiala (1).

At five deaths, Punjab is fourth among states in terms of Covid-19 casualties in India followed by Maharashtra (13), Gujarat (7) and Madhya Pradesh (6), according to the Union health ministry.



As per the data compiled under the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) of the state health and family welfare department, testing was done in the rest of the 15 districts on 300 people put under quarantine but all samples turned out to be negative.

Of the 1,434 samples tested in the state till date, 1,236 have been found negative while reports of 151 are awaited.

“Due to an aggressive awareness campaign on the ground and, of course, the lockdown, the virus has not been able to find a footprint in 15 districts. If people adhere to the rules of social distancing, we will be able to win this battle,” Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, the health department’s Covid-19 spokesperson said.

State health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu claimed things were quite under control in Punjab. “If we keep aside SBS Nagar which has 28 positive patients who came in direct or indirect contact with 70-year-old Baldev Singh, a raagi (Gurbani singer), and two of his associates who returned from Germany via Italy in a connected flight, Punjab’s tally will look satisfactory. The department has controlled the situation in SBS Nagar as well,” said Sidhu.


‘Jamaat participants pose bigger challenge’

People from or in Punjab who attended the controversial Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi’s Nizzamuddin are set to become new challenge for the state, said medical experts.

The total number of persons who attended the gathering has increased from nine on Wednesday to 125 on Thursday and the hunt is on to trace more.

“Even as we have been able to trace 75 people of the 125, finding their contacts has become a serious challenge for us, given the rate at which these participants are turning positive in other states,” a health department official said.

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