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Punjab: Man tests positive for Wuhan Coronavirus after attending ‘health camp’ visited by foreign Christian missionaries

Special Chief Secretary of Punjab, KBS Sidhu, said on Twitter on the 3rd of April that district administration was in contact with Pastor Randeep who he said brought 20 foreign nationals to the village. He, too, said that they had been to a few other villages as well.

The husband of a sarpanch (ex-sarpanch by some accounts) in Ropar, Punjab has tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus. He did not have travel history outside India and neither did he come in contact with the already known cases of the virus. The case threw the local administration into a frenzy as they struggled hard to unearth the source of the infection. Since then, the patient’s wife and son have tested positive for the virus. Later it was discovered that he had attended an event organized by Christian missionaries.

As it so happens, health camps were conducted in Chatamli, the village the patient is from, among other villages without the permission of the health department and administration. A total of 24 foreign nationals had participated in the health camp organized at Chatamali on the 13th of March. Intriguingly enough, none of the foreign nationals were doctors themselves. Reportedly, they are from the Christian Missionary Foundation. The medical check-up was conducted by private doctors from Mohali, Kharar and Chandigarh.

“Camp organisers did not take permission from any official including the health department, which was mandatory. We are inquiring if permission for camps held before or after March 13 in villages was taken or not. None of the foreign nationals were doctors. They did not conduct any check-ups or give any medicine. Instead, a team of doctors from Mohali and other areas checked villagers. The prayers were held by Pastor Randeep,” Ropar deputy commissioner Sonali Giri told TOI. Chatamli panchayat member H S Happy said, “The foreign nationals and doctors from Punjab conducted check-up and gave medicines. The foreign doctors even held prayers for every patient.”

Special Chief Secretary of Punjab, KBS Sidhu, said on Twitter on the 3rd of April that district administration was in contact with Pastor Randeep who he said brought 20 foreign nationals to the village. He, too, said that they had been to a few other villages as well. Randeep Mathews is Senior Pastor of New Life City Church and has been conducting medical camps in partnership with Christian evangelical organisation, Impact Nations, headquartered in the United States and Canada.

Swarajya reported, “The Ropar administration is involved in screening villagers in Chatamli village where three patients of a single family have tested positive. The camps was held in Manakmajara village on 12 March and residents of Lakhimpure and Thauna had also participated. All of these are either sealed or quarantined.” The report added, “A family of 14 in Tewar village which also falls in Ropar district is also under quarantine due to Covid-19 patient of Chatamli village. A member of the family from Tewar village was in the Mohali hospital and was assigned a bed next to Covid-19 patient before he tested positive.”

The Punjab Government is now sealing villages where the Christian Missionaries had organized medical camps. KBS Sidhu said on Twitter, “Three villages– Rauwal , Jaffarwal and Varsal Chak– were sealed as a precautionary measure, after getting information that health camps had been organised from 15-18 March by some foreigners – Christian Missionaries here.” He further added, “A friend of foreigners–who had attended a similar camp in Ropar district–had been found positive by Ropar team– in Ropar district. The entire village population has been screened– no one is symptomatic. Nevertheless, the villages as been declared as “quarantine zones”.” As per Swarajya, thousands of villagers have been put in quarantine.

Abrahamic Missionary organizations have contributed immensely towards the spreading of the Wuhan Coronavirus in India. The Tablighi Jamaat, which has emerged as one of the biggest spreaders of the virus, is an Islamic missionary organization. The same organization has also spread the virus across the entire South Asian region. In South Korea as well, a Christian cult was responsible for spreading the virus.

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