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Himachal now has only one +ve case, says CM Jai Ram Thakur

SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh's countdown to be the next COVID-19 free state seems to have begun. Of the total 40 positive cases in Himachal Pradesh, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday announced that state has now just one active case. The final report of this patient, who also has links with Tablighi Jamaat, is expected on May 5. There are no fresh cases of Coronavirus reported in the state for the past week. Though the state remains under curfew and lockdown conditions, the state government has taken a decision to open business activities. There will be five-hour curfew relaxation in all the districts for which the Deputy Commissioners have been given free hand to decide on relaxations, and devise way out to enforce social distancing norms. But, the most serious problem, which the state government faces relates to the return of stranded people in different towns including Chandigarh.

More than 3.60 lakh persons, stranded in states like Maharashtra, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, TN and Karnataka have registered themselves for e-passes and they have been frequently contacting the state agencies. Though Himachal Pradesh government has already appointed nodal officers for different states, the mechanism has not worked with most making distress calls to the helplines, launched by the state.

Two helpline numbers of the Chief Minister's office beside half a dozen other numbers have been released for those stranded people.

Chief Ministers said that all those returning will be sent to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. There will be strict monitoring of all these persons coming from other places so that Coronavirus doesn't stage a come back via these returnees. As many as 1,314 persons stranded in the Tri-City area were brought back to the state in 51 buses, which include 609 people of Kangra district, 335 people of Hamirpur district, 132 people of Una district and 238 people of Chamba district. Thakur said it was the larg- est movement of stranded peo- ple of Himachal to bring themback safely to the state.

More such people of the other districts stranded in the Tri-City would be brought back soon. He said that all these persons would be medically examined for any COVID symptoms and only thereafter kept in home quarantine.

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