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Himachal extends lockdown to June 30 as Covid cases rise

Ashwani SharmaShimla: Two women who were tested positive, lost their battle to Coronavirus on the day when the state witnessed an unusual spike in the cases, majority of them arriving from COVID hotspots like Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmadabad and Chennai via special trains run by the Railway Ministry at behest of Himachal Pradesh government.

As situation has slowly started turning grim, the state's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) issued orders to all Deputy Commissioners to invoke their powers under section 144 Cr.PC to extend prohibitory orders till June 30.

The government, however, has ruled out any move to seal the inter-state borders.

The deadline for the countrywide lockdown is May 31 but because of more than 1.40 lakh Himachalis, who have arrived during past three weeks, the state government is fearing a further rise in the number of cases.

Shimla, state's capital, on Monday also witnessed a sudden spurt in the Coronavirus cases. Four cases were reported from the district, which till now, was free from any positive case.

All these persons were lodged in institutional quarantine at two different places at Deha (Chopal) and Kotkhai.

An elderly woman, who was admitted at IGMC Shimla, was rushed here following kidney problem died early in the morning. Earlier she was getting treatment at Jalandhar (Punjab), where her husband got infected. Naturally, the infection got transferred to her some days back.

Same day, a Mandi woman, who was admitted at Lal Bahadur Shastri Medical College Hospital at Nerchowk (Mandi) after being tested positive, died. She too had some history about her kidneys.

With two deaths, the number of fatalities in the state due to Coronavirus has risen to five.

The worst affected district –Hamirpur, which is state's smallest district, has highest number of 63 cases with two deaths.

The biggest district –Kangra has 58 cases. The number is all set to increase with more reports awaited. Only on Monday, a special train from Chennai brought 211 passengers to Himachal Pradesh, of which 54 was sent to institutional quarantine.

After a gap of two months, Delhi-Kangra air travel facility also got restored. Against capacity of 80 percent, there were only 45 passengers (hailing from Himachal) travelled.

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