The northern hill state ,which saw a significant drop in the active Covid cases to 200 till a fortnight back, is witnessing a fresh spurt in the positive cases .
But, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur this morning ruled-out possibilities of any lockdown in the state .
After 160 monks at Gyuto Tantric Monastery ,Dharamshala tested positive in Kangra district, Sirmaur district is making headlines posting a sudden rise in the Covid cases .
Atleast 130 students, including a large number of trainee nurses at a private university ,located far away from Rajgarh town,have been tested positive .
Deputy Commissioner (Sirmaur) Dr R K Purthi said such a large number of cases in a single educational institution is a matter of worries ,especially when Sirmaur was viewed as ‘best managed” district in February.
“ The moment people start lowering their guards and non-adhering to the norms ,the pandemic is bound to see a resurgence .Only saving point is that the university is located quite away and the infection is also confined to one place.There can be better management” he added .
The vaccination drive, notwithstanding , the state is again in the terrible times when the government has opened the schools,hotels and other education institutions (Medical and nursing colleges included ) for regular classes ,barring classes below 5th standard .
The state is known for fairs and festivals. The week –long annual shivratri festival —an international ranked event began at Mandi in presence of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur .The traditional “jaleb” –a procession of the presiding deity saw participation of hundreds of people jostling and dancing .The no –social were breached quite openly .
Chief Minister and his cabinet minister Mohinder Singh – the stars of the show, also were part of the massive crowd though hours before the process, Thakur was preaching the people to strictly follow the social distancing norm and wear masks .
State’s Secretary (Health) Amitabh Awasthi admits that the infection was on rise once again and the number of active cases may show some increase ,though the rate of mortality may not be as high as it has been in the last few months of 2020.
The active cases in Himachal Pradesh have risen to 630 on Friday against 218 on February 23 .Barring Lahaul-Spiti, which is Covid free district ,almost all districts are witnessing fresh waves .
Sirmaur has highest active cases of 163 followed by Kangra 114 while two districts of Chamba and Kinnaur have just one active case.Solan and Shimla districts have 91 and 44 cases each.
Deputy Commissioner Solan R C Chaman said he has ordered for a random testing in the educational institutions,which have recently opened .There are also fears in Baddi and Barotiwala industrial belt ,where hundreds of employees some from other areas viz Chandigarh ,Panchkula, Mohali ,Parwanoo and Pinjore .
The cabinet is also meeting on March 15 to review Covid situation in the state and take a call if it needs re-imposition of the restrictions and also a decision on allowing opening of schools ,having classes below 5th standard .