Follow blocking rules, says Punjab 'super separator'

CHANDIGARH: Maintaining social distancing and following blocking rules are necessary protocols to contain the pandemic, says a patient infected with the Punjab virus who now feels remorse for having a super propagator label.

He believes that if he had taken steps to keep the virus at bay, the virus might not have affected his eight family members and 29 other members of his extended family.

He is 43 years old, the first patient in the village of Jawaharpur, near the city of Dera Bassi, in the Mohali district, about 20 km from here.

He is the village panch or an elected member of panchayat and is receiving treatment at the Graduate and Research Institute (PGIMER) here.

He was diagnosed with a positive coronavirus on April 4.

All the other members of my family were diagnosed after I was diagnosed with a positive coronavirus, Singh told IANS by phone from the hospital.

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Regretting that his only mistake was mixing too often with his villagers, he said; Since I am the 'panch' of the village, it was my duty to take preventive measures and also help the poor by organizing community kitchens in the village.

He said his home was located near a community center where villagers and district officials meet frequently to mark steps to impose confinement restrictions and disinfect the village.

I was more actively involved in ensuring 24-hour logistical support by motivating villagers to prevent human movement, disinfecting public places, and maintaining the supply of essential products.

At the time, we ignored the government's recommendation to maintain social distancing and the use of face masks, said Singh, the owner of a small-scale unit in the town to make decorative items used for banquet halls for the wedding ceremony. .

According to official figures, one more patient from the village of Jawaharpur tested positive on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the village to 38.

None of the 38 patients has a history of travel. Most of them were asymptomatic and tested positive only after the test.

The latest patient is another member of the immediate family of already positive cases, Mohali's deputy commissioner said in a tweet.

He said that a sample from the village went to take samples.

Health officials say that all Jawaharpur patients belong to very close and extended families of the main patient.

The Mohali district, located on the outskirts of the state capital, Chandigarh, with a total of 56 positive cases, has become the epicenter of the virus in the state. Of these five have been cured and two died.

Authorities believe Singh hired COVID-19 from his part-time employee, who returned to the village after visiting Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi in March.

The panch's first brother is the husband of the village sarpanch, whose five members tested positive.

It is a mistake to blame my employees for the spread of the virus. It is true that some of my employees are Muslim and visit the nearby mosque to offer prayers. All Muslims in the village tested negative. I don't know where and how I got the virus, he said.

Our town is known for the brotherhood of all religions, added Singh, whose relatives have been receiving treatment at the Gian Sagar Hospital in Banur, near the town.

Jawaharpur village is now a containment zone with a total ban on the movement of people along with three neighboring villages.

Extensive sampling has allowed us to identify more positive cases within the village and isolate them, hopefully containing the spread in the village with a population of more than 2,500 and beyond, said Deputy Commissioner Dayalan.