Punjab’s First Covid-19 Casualty Could Have Been The State’s ‘Patient 31’

Punjab, where 31 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, may have identified its first ‘Patient 31’ or the super-spreader as per a local report.

On 25 March, the state reported 2 more cases, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 31. Of these cases, 22 cases have been traced back to Baldev Singh, a 70-year old preacher who succumbed to high fever after his visit to Italy and Germany. Singh, defying the authorities, did not resort to self-quarantine and interacted with other villagers. He was found positive for Covid-19 after his death.

The two new cases have been reported from Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana. Authorities have traced the case from the former town to Singh. Alongside, he is reported to infect 18 members of his family.

The newest case is reported is the son of a priest whose father preached in the same ‘dera’ as Baldev Singh. As per the report, the people who came in contact with this case have been quarantined already along with his family members. The village has been sealed as well.

As per the state health department, there are around 130 suspected cases, 1,150 have been quarantined, and results of 229 other cases are awaited.

Baldev Singh arrived in India with two other priests on 7 March. Since then, the state government has been tracking down persons who came in contact with them. SAS Nagar, which has 18 cases, receives the highest number of NRIs in the state from European states and Canada due to the international airport.

Currently, the government has asked more than 30,000 people to self-quarantine. Under complete lockdown, the state is regularly monitoring travelers who returned from abroad before the air restrictions came into play.

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