About 100 Sikh Pilgrims from Punjab That Visited Pakistan for Baisakhi Test Covid-19 Positive
Setting off alarm bells at the local health administration, about 100 pilgrims from Punjab who were part of the Jatha to Pakistan for celebrating Baisakhi have tested positive for Coronavirus.
The pilgrims have started returning from Pakistan and were subjected to mandatory Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at Attari Wagah Joint Check Post. As per local officials, 98 have so far tested positive for Covid-19 and the testing was still on when last reports came. Local health officials at the border said that so far 300 were tested for the virus and those who had tested positive have been put under observation and decision on whether they would be admitted to Covid hospitals or put under home quarantine will be taken by the authorities.
Over 800 pilgrims had travelled to Pakistan on April 12 as part of the jathas representing various Sikh organisations including SGPC to celebrate Baisakhi. They all were tested for Covid-19 before they were allowed to cross over. The SGPC had even conducted a special two-day camp since it was mandatory for the pilgrims to obtain a Covid free clearance from authorities.
The pilgrims were granted a 10- day visa by the Pakistan High Commission and were allowed to visit various Sikh shrines besides attending the main event that was held at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal on April 14.
They had also visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur shrine and took out nagar kirtan from Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district in Pakistan to the Zero Line sharing the border of Dera Baba Nanak on Indian Side. The procession, accompanied by ‘Palki’ was headed by ‘panj pyaras’ from India who were part of the jatha.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has decided to ban for two weeks travelers coming from India due to a record surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the country. Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) took the decision to impose a two-week ban on travel from India in a meeting chaired by its chief Asad Umar who is also the Minister for Planning and Development, according to a statement.