Former Hazoori Ragi of Golden Temple dies, was coronavirus positive
In a sorrowful development, Giani Nirmal Singh, the former Hazroori Ragi of Golden Temple, passed away on Thursday morning, a day after testing positive for coronavirus. The 68-year-old had to be put on ventilator support at a government hospital in Amritsar after his condition deteriorated on Wednesday. Reports said Singh returned from the United Kingdom in mid-February and passed away at 4:30 am.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009
A Hazroori Ragi is a person who chants hymn shabads in different ragas. Singh, who was hailed as a 'Gurbani' exponent, became the first Ragi to be awarded the prestigious Padma Shri Award. He was given the honor in 2009. Recently, he held several religious gatherings in New Delhi and Chandigarh. KBS Sidhu, Special Chief Secretary of Punjab Disaster Management, confirmed the development.
His home quarantine period ended on March 17
Amritsar civil surgeon Dr. Prabhdeep Kaur Johal said Singh traveled to England in November. On March 3, a health department team went to his house after learning that two US guests visited him. They didn't show any symptoms, but as a precaution, the family members were asked to remain indoors. Their quarantine period ended on March 17 and they were found to be asymptomatic.
He might have got infected on trip to Chandigarh
"He went to Chandigarh for a kirtan samagam on March 19 where over 100 people gathered. He tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday. He may have caught the infection during his trip to Chandigarh. He died of sudden cardiac arrest on Thursday," the doctor said.
He was suffering from breathlessness, said reports
Singh had earlier gone to Sri Guru Ram Das University of Health Sciences (SGRDUHS) on March 22 after he felt sick, a report in TOI said. The medical facility is run by Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee. However, after his condition didn't improve, he was shifted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital on Monday morning. He complained of breathlessness and dizziness.
The details of his travel have been shared with relevant authorities. Singh lived in the densely populated Sultanwind area. With his demise, the death toll due to coronavirus in Punjab has swelled to six. Before him, a COVID-19 positive patient, who hailed from Hoshiarpur, breathed his last at Amritsar Government Medical College. To note, close to 2,000 people have been infected across India.