One guru who returned to his native India after traveling to Italy and Germany is now being named as potentially responsible for hundreds of people testing positive for the coronavirus and thousands more under quarantine.
Baldev Singh, 70, returned to India in early March. Italy has the most coronavirus cases of any European country.
Germany has been second until recently overtaken by Spain.
Although Singh became ill and subsequently died, it was not known until after his death that he had the virus.
Singh landed in New Delhi, then drove to Punjab state and attended the Sikh festival of Hola Mohalla in Anandpur Sahib. The three-day festival, March 10-12, attracted about 300,000 people a day, according to NBC News.
Singh died on March 18 from what was later known to be the coronavirus infection, NBC reported.
As a result, between 15,000 and 40,000 people in northern India are quarantined.
Indian authorities in Punjab quarantine around 40,000 residents from 20 villages following Covid-19 outbreak linked to just one man https://t.co/Cp3jnzwkVd
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 27, 2020
“The first of these 15 villages was sealed on March 18, and we think there are 15,000 to 20,000 people in the sealed villages,” said Gaurav Jain, a senior magistrate for the district of Banga, where Singh lived, according to Agence France-Presse, via Yahoo News.
“There are medical teams on standby and regular monitoring,” he said.
‘So far, we have been able to trace 550 people who came into direct contact with him and the number is growing,” the BBC quoted an official it did not name as saying.
“We have sealed 15 villages around the area he stayed.”
India is currently under a 21-day nationwide stay-at-home lockdown.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave 1.3 billion people less than 4 hours’ notice before announcing a total lockdown in India. It’s the biggest and most severe action undertaken anywhere to stop the spread of the coronavirus.https://t.co/3ykF2a7ng3
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 24, 2020
Typically buzzing with traffic, the Mumbai Bridge in India appears empty as the country imposed a curfew in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. https://t.co/UYglpNoakQ pic.twitter.com/0jyMOwPVVT
— ABC News (@ABC) March 22, 2020
India has had 973 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
With a population of 1.3 billion people, there are fears that the highly contagious virus is present in larger numbers that have not been reported due to a lack of testing.
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