Chandigarh, April 30 (IANS) Punjab on Thursday saw 105 new cases of coronavirus, the highest single-day spike, with 87 of them those who returned to the state either after a 1,750-km odyssey from the Sikh shrine in Maharashtra’s Nanded or Rajasthan’s Kota this week.
With the surfacing of the new cases, the total number of those infected with the virus rose to 480. The state, currently, has 356 active patients.
The fresh cases include 28 from Amritsar, 21 from Ludhiana and 11 from Mohali.
A day earlier, Punjab recorded 35 Covid-19 cases and a majority of them were pilgrims and students.
As per official figures, nearly 3,500 pilgrims were expected to arrive from Takht Sri Hazur Sahib in Nanded where they were stranded due to the lockdown. A majority of them have reached Punjab in batches in government-arranged buses.
Likewise, 1,400 labourers and nearly 3,000 students who were studying in coaching institutes of Kota returned to the state, a government official told IANS.
The Health Department has decided to quarantine all returnees from outside the state for 21 days.
After non-resident Indians (NRIs), foreign travellers and Tablighi Jamaat attendees, it’s now the pilgrims returning from the Takht Sri Hazur Sahib and the students that are posing a serious challenge to the state administration, said an official.
“Our medical system is in place to screen all those who are returning to the state after remaining stranded at various destinations across the country since the lockdown (March 24),” Special Chief Secretary K.B.S. Sidhu, who is in-charge of monitoring state-wide coronavirus cases, told the media.
Earlier, Sidhu said, in the case of Tablighi Jamaat attendees, there was problem of tracing their whereabouts.
“Now we have contact details of all people who are returning to the state along with their travel history. It is our duty to give them the best of the treatment on return,” he added.