Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said around 30,000 NRIs or the people who recently returned from abroad have been quarantined to check the spread of coronavirus in the state.
His statement came after Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu wrote to the Centre demanding an assistance of Rs 150 crore to boost the health infrastructure to tackle rising cases of coronavirus after the arrival of 90,000 people from abroad.
In an official statement, the CM said over 94,000 came from abroad in the recent days. Most have been tracked and around 30,000 placed under isolation, he said.
"A lot many people have come from those countries where this disease (coronavirus) has spread and many of them may have brought the symptoms of this disease here," Singh said, adding that it is imperative to maintain distance, trace and test those who had returned from coronavirus-affected countries.
"All-out efforts are being made to trace the remaining people," said the CM, stressing that constant monitoring was in progress to keep keep tabs on new entrant.
A large number of NRIs from countries like the US, UK and Canada visit their native places in Punjab during this time.
The Doaba region comprising Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts in Punjab is a well-known belt of NRIs.
Punjab has reported 29 positive coronavirus cases in the state so far. More than 20 persons contracted the deadly disease because of a 70-year-old Nawanshahr resident, who recently returned from Germany through Italy.
The septuagenarian died at a hospital due to cardiac arrest last Wednesday.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu in a letter written to Union Minister Harsh Vardhan had pointed out that Punjab has the maximum number of NRIs in the country.
"This month, 90,000 non-resident Indians have landed in the state. Many of them have symptoms of COVID-19 and are further spreading the disease through their contact/transmission," he stressed.