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Returnees Can Cause Spike In COVID-19 Cases: Punjab CM Warns Against Migrants Coming Back

CM addressed a video-conference of CMs of Congress-ruled states with party chief Sonia Gandhi and stated that around 20,000 international travellers are expected to return to Punjab in the next 3-4 weeks, in addition to around 12,000 who had registered in other states for coming back.

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Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday, May 6 warned of another COVID-19 spike if the 32,000 people stranded outside the state reach Punjab in the next few weeks.

According to the Punjab government's statement, the CM addressed a video-conference of CMs of Congress-ruled states with party chief Sonia Gandhi and stated that around 20,000 international travellers are expected to return to Punjab in the next 3-4 weeks, in addition to around 12,000 who had registered in other states for coming back. Former party chief Rahul Gandhi and former PM Dr Manmohan Singh also attended the conference.

According to The Indian Express report stated that the CM said four ships with migrants, mostly labourers, are expected to arrive over the next few days added to this, the first plane with NRIs was expected to reach Punjab on May 7. The returnees especially the workers coming back from the Gulf in crowded ships could pose a high risk of spreading infection in Punjab.

He opined that the declaration of zone classification as red, orange or green should at the discretion of the states. The CM informed that the state government has sanctioned 35 crore for the migrant worker's train travel.

The CM added that the spike in cases was due to Punjabis stranded outside coming back. The state's COVID-19 mortality rate was down to 1.72 per cent, he said. Regarding the Nanded returnees, he said that the situation was likely to stabilise in the next 3 to 4 days, once testing of all is completed. All returnees are now being checked and quarantined, he added

Revenues Dried Up

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh further disclosed that the revenue shortfall for the state for the month of April is at 88 per cent. All tax revenues have dried up and only 1.5 per cent of the industry currently operational. Out of the estimated revenues of 3,360 crore for April, only 396 crore had been received during the month, further, the state's GST arrears of 4,365.37 crore are yet to be paid by the Centre.

Also Read: Pilgrims In Punjab Pose New COVID-19 Threat In State

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Writer : Aditi Chattopadhyay
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