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COVID-19: Woman back from Saudi Arabia tests positive in Pilibhit, UP tally up to 29

Meanwhile, the Pilibhit DM and SP are under fire after a video showed them leading a rally during the 'janta curfew'. However, the duo claimed they were trying to send people inside their houses.

Published: 23rd March 2020 06:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2020 06:29 PM   |  A+A-

People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at a market in Lucknow

People wear protective masks in view of coronavirus pandemic at a market in Lucknow. (Photo| PTI)

Express News Service

LUCKNOW: With a fresh case surfacing in Pilibhit district of the Terai, the tally of coronavirus infections went up to 29 in Uttar Pradesh on Monday.  The woman, 45, who tested positive hailed from Harraipur village under Amariya block of Pilibhit district. She had returned to India from Saudi Arabia after performing Umra along with 37 others on March 20.

Pilibhit CMO Dr Seema Agrawal confirmed the case and said the patient had already been quarantined as soon as her foreign travel history was revealed. In fact, all 37 persons of the group were screened for the virus and had been in isolation since March 20.

Meanwhile, a major lapse by the district administration during the Sunday 'Janata curfew' has come to light in Pilibhit. The DM and SP are under fire after a video clip showed the duo leading a rally of people during the 14-hour curfew beating thalis. However, both the officials when questioned claimed that they were, in fact, trying to send people inside their houses.

In an address to the nation on Thursday, the PM had asked people to step out of their balconies or doorways and express gratitude to those providing essential services during the coronavirus outbreak by clapping or beating plates at 5 pm on Sunday.

Hours after the exercise, a 20-second video clip showing Pilibhit District Magistrate Vaibhav Srivastava and Superintendent of Police Abhishek Dixit blowing conch shells and beating thalis went viral on social media.

Taking cognizance of the video clip, BJP MP from Pilibhit Varun Gandhi took to Twitter and requested the state and central governments to take action against such ‘irresponsible’ officers.  He posted:  “While many people including myself are in self-quarantine  and India battles COVID-19 on a war footing, the
conduct of SP & DM of Pilibhit is callous and irresponsible. Times like these need mature conduct, like the PM advised. I urge action against those who violated the #JanataCurfew.

The video showed Srivastava wearing a black mask and tolling a bell and Dixit, who was blowing a ‘shankh’ (conch shell), walking next to him. Other top officials of the Pilibhit district administration were also seen walking along and clapping and beating thalis. Some children were also seen participating in the alleged march.

“DM and SP Pilibhit did not take out any juloos. Some people were out on roads, hence they were removed by an emotional way as using force was not a practical solution. The news in this regard is one sided, as a proof I am attaching a media byte,” the Pilibhit DM said in a tweet.

In the clip posted by the Pilibhit DM, he was heard saying, “People took the appeal of the honourable Prime Minister seriously. However, I would like to appeal to them to stay indoors and not to gather at any one place as it increases the chances of spreading the infection. They should clap from inside their
houses.”

Meanwhile, a second test of celebrity singer Kanika Kapoor, who is convalescing at SGPGIMS in Lucknow, was conducted and her report still showed her under ‘heavy viral load’. The B-Town singer put hundreds of lives at risk by ‘flouting’ the health protocol of self-isolation despite having a travel history to the UK.

In fact, the singer not only ignored the Mumbai doctors’ advice for self-quarantine but also attended a series of parties attended by many high profile politicians and bureaucrats in Lucknow in the following days till March 15. As per hospital sources, the singer is stable and being looked after well.



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