200 pilgrims test positive for COVID-19 after returning from Pakistan

Attari: A total of 200 pilgrims from Punjab tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday on returning from Pakistan, after paying obeisance at various Sikh shrines in the neighbouring country.

Some of the pilgrims confronted the health staff after their reports came positive for the infection, civil surgeon Charanjit Singh told reporters.

A few of them tore the test reports and said when they left for Pakistan, their reports were negative.

Some pilgrims even took away the official records and forced the health staff to leave their counters at the Attari border, Singh said.

The Sikh “jatha” (group) of 810 pilgrims, sponsored by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), had gone to Pakistan on April 12 to observe the Baisakhi festival.

According to Singh, the pilgrims, who tested positive for the viral disease, were asked to quarantine themselves at their homes as presently, no special institution is operational at the government level to quarantine such patients.

On April 12, before the pilgrims left for Pakistan, they were tested for COVID-19 and their reports were negative.

However, SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur said in case any of the COVID-positive pilgrims requires hospitalisation, he would be treated at an SGPC-run hospital here for free.

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