Residents queue at a bakery shop in Ludhiana on Wednesday. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)
Punjab reported two new coronavirus cases on Wednesday taking its tally of positive cases to 31 so far. While Ludhiana reported its first COVID-19 case, the second case confirmed in Punjab Wednesday was from Hoshiarpur’s Moranwali village. Nawanshahr, which has been the epicentre of coronavirus cases in the state, reported no new case during the day.
A 55-year-old woman, wife of a leading industrialist from Ludhiana, has tested COVID-19 positive. Medical bulletin released by Punjab government in the evening Wednesday confirmed the case, but added that she had no travel history and source of her infection was being studied.
Her first test report from Patiala lab came positive on May 24. On May 25 evening, she was declared as a positive patient by the Health Department of Punjab. This is first COVID-19 case from Ludhiana.
The woman runs a boutique in posh Gurdev Nagar area of Ludhiana. Civil Surgeon Dr Rajesh Bagga, while talking with
The Indian Express, had stated in the morning that she had a travel history to Spain. He wasn't available for comments in the evening after the official bulletin mentioned no travel history.
The woman had gone to two doctors at Ludhiana's DMCH and both have been quarantined. Dr Bagga said, "One physician who took swab has been quarantined with his wife and son while the other physician has been quarantined alone." Sources revealed that patient met one physician on Tuesday at the DMCH, so he was quarantined alone as he never went home after that. All four of them have tested negative.
In addition to this, even the woman's husband, son and her three house helps, two drivers have been quarantined.
In the evening, the test results showed that the patient’s husband, son, two doctors and wife and son of one of the doctors had tested negative. Test results of the drivers and house helps of the woman are pending.
Dr Bagga said, "We got to know about the patient on March 24 and hence now our teams are in action to get complete details of who all she had met."
Sources revealed that she has NRI clients in her boutique and details of people she met are being compiled. Her husband has a factory in Ludhiana's industrial area.
The news sent alarm bells in Ludhiana as the family was believed to be popular in city’s upper class social circles.
In the past few days, the woman had attended a kitty party, a bhog and a satsang, and health officials are compiling details of all the persons who attended these functions.
In Nawanshahr, the result of 41 out of 61 samples taken Tuesday came back negative. Mass sampling was conducted Wednesday in the district’s three villages by two teams from Government Medical Colleges, Amritsar and Patiala, from three villages. The teams collected 114 samples from from Pathlava, Jhika and Laddana Uccha villages.
Also, 15 villages located around Pathlava village have been sealed to stop the spread of the decease. Punjab’s first COVID-19 victim, a 70-year-old religious preacher who died on March 18, was from Pathlava. The residents of these 15 villages were the regular visitors of the gurdwara in Pathlava where the deceased man and his two companions, who are also infected, used to give religious discourse and perform shabad-kirtan.
In Nawanshahr’s Balachaur sub-division, the mother of 23-year-old youth, who returned from Australia on March 18 and committed suicide in Delhi, tested negative. The news came as a major relief to villagers who had met her following the death of her son. Also, the tests of the two kids from Balachaur, who had returned from Italy, also returned negative results.
A 31-year-old man tested positive in Hoshiarpur’s Moranwali village Wednesday. He is the son of a 60-year-old, who was the acquaintance of the deceased 70-year-old religious preacher from Banga. Both father and son are now COVID-19 positive. With this, the total infected contacts of Banga man now stands at 22.
In Jalandhar, total 24 samples were collected on Wednesday. Earlier, 21 samples were collected from here, out of which 17 tested negative, three positive and the result of one is awaited, including a man who died in ESI Hospital and had contact history with the UK-returned NRI.
A 71-year-old man from Jalandhar’ Littran village died of coronavirus in New York on Monday. He was living there for the past 25 years and is survived by six children, including four sons and two daughters. Kuldeep Singh, son of the deceased, while talking from New York informed that his father was suffering from the deadly virus and had trouble breathing. He said that his father was former Chief Engineer with the train system in New York and after that, he had been teaching Punjabi as principal of Khalsa School in New York. The school has six branches in the different gurdwaras of New York.
Doo-to-door supply hits roadblocks in Doaba
THE door-to-door supply of essential commodities failed to meet its stated objective in most parts of the Doaba region Wednesday. Although the contact lists for home delivery were given by respective district administrations and the teams to ensure deliveries were also formed, people alleged that they could not get essentials because most of the numbers put out for home delivery remained busy through the day.
In Jalandhar, when a known medical store was opened, police picked the owner, though later released him. The owner said that he had opened the shop just because police wanted to purchase medicines, and when police personnel were purchasing other people also came which led to shop being closed.
It is a difficult task to serve door-to-door in a city with 12 lakh population, said a senior district official in Jalandhar, adding that they could not serve 1/4th of the population in the city.
The reports from Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala were also the same and people could not get the essentials in most parts of the cities. In Jalandhar during curfew, a firing incident was also reported near Kahan Sigh Nagar. A financer, Tarsem Lal, and his son, Aman, alleged that one man from their locality was taking illicit liquor for sale to which they objected leading to the man firing at them. No one was injured in the firing.