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Coronavirus: Two Punjab villages out of bounds for outsiders


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Two villages in Punjab have gone into complete self-quarantine, blocking all entries for people from outside to ensure the new coronavirus does not sneak into their areas.
Since they grow vegetables and have sufficient milk output, they say they didn't have to face any major issue in implementing the lockdown.
Residents of Ageta village in Patiala, the home district of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, and Ranghera Khurd village in Fatehgarh Sahib district have put up blockades at all entry points. They also do not allow any villager going out except in emergency situations.
"We sealed our village on March 20, well before the state government imposed curfew (on March 23) in the state," Davinder Singh, husband of Ranghera Khurd Sarpanch (village head) on Sunday.
"We decided to bar outsiders in our village in order to protect our villagers from coronavirus. Safety of people is our prime concern," said Singh, adding they do not even allow villagers to go outside.
The villagers have parked tractors and erected barricades at three entry points on Sirhind-Nabha road.
"My cousin had come to meet me and I politely refused to let him enter," Singh told PTI.
Ageta village, near Nabha in Patiala, has also adopted the same strategy.
Groups of young men from the village have been deputed at all 'nakas' (check posts) to ensure the self-imposed lockdown.
"We have put up 'nakas' at three entry points," said Baljinder Singh, husband of village Sarpanch Harpreet Kaur.
Preneet Kaur, the Patiala MP and wife of Punjab CM, had congratulated the Ageta village sarpanch for their effort.
"Congratulated Harpreet Kaur, Sarpach of Ageta village of Patiala, which has now become an example of how communities can stand up & compliment state govt's efforts in the fight against this pandemic. The commendable measures taken by this village are inspiration for many others," Kaur tweeted on Saturday.
Ageta village has a population of 750 people while Ranghera Khurd has 700 villagers.
Asked about supply of essential commodities, Davinder Singh of Ranghera Khurd said most of villagers grow vegetables and have sufficient milk supply. "There is no much problem on this front and we are getting whatever essential supplies are required, said Singh.
However, Baljinder Singh Ageta village sought help for daily wagers, saying they are facing hardships because of loss of jobs and poor financial condition.
Punjab has reported total 38 coronavirus cases so far.

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First Published: Mar 29 2020 | 7:44 PM IST

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