COVID hits Himachal Pradesh with double whammy as rains, snow also paralyse life

COVID hits Himachal Pradesh with double whammy as rains, snow also paralyse life

Shimla: Grappling with Covid-19 and rising numbers of deaths, Himachal Pradesh faces a double whammy due to cold conditions, particularly snowfall and wide-spread rains leaving the life paralysed and coronavirus showing no signs of any let-up on Wednesday.

More than 12,500 new cases during the month, and nearly 250 deaths, even those in the age group of 16 to 36, the pandemic seems to be on rampage and the health care infrastructure is in complete collapse.

Fresh spells of snow in the high altitude areas of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and also Shimla and Kullu districts is bound to aggravate the conditions while rain in the rest of state also created extreme cold conditions, leaving the patients in Covid care wards shivering.

A video of a youth, who was brought to Shimla's Deen Dayal Upadhaya (DDU) hospital for admission to Covid care ward went viral on Tuesday as he was left unattended for four hours. The youth was shivering and crying bitterly for help.

At Geu village in Lahaul-Spiti, which has a population of 100-plus, 28 persons were tested positive during random sampling by the medical teams sent there two days back. The village on China border is known for its attraction because of a mummified body of a monk, dating back of 550 years.

Lahaul-Spiti DC Pankaj Rai said 48 persons were tested by the teams of which 28 were found Covid positive.

This is the third village where such a huge number of persons were reported positive after Tholang, where only one person, were lucky to be tested negative in a population of 43 persons. Earlier too, 38 persons were tested positive in another village.

The district has reported nine deaths, of which six only after the inauguration of the Rohtang Tunnel opened floodgates to tourists coming to Lahaul Spiti. The district authorities, now, have imposed a ban on the entry of the outsiders.

Elsewhere in the state , the conditions are no better. Twelve more deaths have been reported during the past 24-hours and the number says, health department officials, could still be high as more reports of the tests are awaited.

The state government's decision of impose night curfew in the four districts from December 24, has created a new problem for the police and law enforcing agencies. Several Shimla-bound tourists who could not reach the town before 8 pm created a ruckus at the Shoghi barrier — a entry point on the Parwanoo-Shimla Highway with women and children getting struck.

Superintendent of Police Shimla Mohit Chawla had to rush to the spot and facilitate some of the families, who had hotel bookings in Shimla, and were accompanied by infants.

Similar bowls were witnessed during the night hours at Mandi, Kullu and Kangra districts on day one of the curfew.

There is also criticism of the government in the social media and by opposition about the relevance of night curfew – "Is corona an owl?" are comments written by citizens activists while few blame it on large gatherings and wedding functions, nite DJs and natis (pahari folk dances) for spread of the infections as people did not observe social distancing or wear the masks.

But, the BJP government is also to blame for allowing mass movement of the tourists without any check at

the borders, hosting big political rallies, social and religious gatherings with no limit on the numbers.

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