March 28, 2020, 3:35 AM

A 70-year-old man priest, who last week became the first person to die of COVID-19 in Punjab, is believed to be the source behind 70% coronavirus positive cases in the state.

Out of the 33 positive people in Punjab, 23 people are said to have gotten the virus from the priest directly or indirectly. Of the 23 people, 14 are his family members and rest are their friends. The priest is believed to have met more than 100 people while he was positive.

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As per reports, on March 6, the priest had returned with two of his friends from a two-week tour of Germany and Italy. He then drove all the way to Punjab. Defying all social distancing rules, the three men attended an event at Anandpur Sahib on March 8 till March 10. The two men while returning to their village travelled to around 15 villages across Punjab.

Health officials are now going from village to village tracing every person who may have been exposed to COVID-19 because of the three men.

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