As India battles the outbreak of COVID-19, fears are emerging that Punjab might become the new epicentre of coronavirus in India due to the massive influx of returning non-resident Indians (NRIs).
Approximately 90,000 NRIs have returned to Punjab as the virus spreads across the world. The Amarinder Singh-led government is now asking the Centre for funds to the tune of INR 150 crore to ensure that the virus doesn't spread in the state.
"Punjab has the maximum number of NRIs in the country and only 90,000 of them have landed in the state this month. Many have symptoms of COVID-19 and are further spreading the disease... The number of COVID-19 patients are going to increase alarmingly," said a letter written by state health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu to Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, according to NDTV.
Till 23 March, 23 people had tested positive for the virus in the state with one death.
Punjab has imposed curfew in the state with public transport shut and restrictions on the movement of people and goods in place.