10,000 Visited Super-Spreader Dhabas Near Delhi, Contact-Tracing Starts

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10,000 Visited Super-Spreader Dhabas Near Delhi, Contact-Tracing Starts

Murthal coronavirus: Amrik Sukhdev dhaba is a popular highway restaurant near Delhi (File)

New Delhi:

At least 10,000 people visited two popular highway restaurants in Haryana's Murthal that have been sealed now after 75 employees were found infected with coronavirus, officials have said.

A massive contact-tracing work is going on to identify possible infected people, but it is a huge challenge to find them, officials said.

"We collected samples of 360 employees of Amrik Sukhdev Dhaba on Wednesday. 65 of them were found positive," Sonepat district commissioner Shyam Lal Poonia said.

Another 10 employees of a highway restaurant in Murthal, Garam Dhaba, owned by actor Dharmendra, have tested positive for COVID-19.

Mr Poonia said it's a big challenge to trace all the customers who visited the super-spreader dhabas in the last one week.

Mr Poonia said the Sonepat district administration has been running a screening drive to test workers at dhabas and it was during this process that these cases were detected. He said the district administration keeps carrying routine checks at dhabas to ensure that they follow safety guidelines.

The restaurants along the highway in Murthal, some 70 km from Delhi, are frequented by thousands of people travelling between the national capital and Chandigarh and are known for their paranthas. It is also a popular place for weekend brunch and late-night outing for people living in nearby districts.

The centre has allowed inter-state movement as part of its "Unlock" plan to bring life back to normal after months of coronavirus lockdown. Following easing of restrictions, people have started travelling across states. Highway restaurants that had been shut for months suddenly saw crowds lining up on the counters, which could have led to the infection spreading, officials said.

Haryana on Thursday reported its highest single-day spike of 1,881 coronavirus cases with 19 fatalities. Sonepat district reported 190 coronavirus cases.

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