Amid a fresh spurt in Covid-19 cases, the Shimla administration Thursday said that not wearing a mask or wearing one improperly in public places in the district will now attract a fine of Rs 1,000.
DC Amit Kashyap said the decision has been taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. It’s compulsory to wear a mask while stepping out of one’s home and to cover the mouth and the nose while wearing a mask, the DC said.
The decision comes on a day, 44 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the state, with 42 in Solan alone.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said the total number of Covid-19 cases in the state has risen to 1,770. Of them, 630 are active, while 1,112 patients have recovered.
Dhiman said that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, his family members and staffers at his residence and office will remain under home quarantine for a week despite testing negative for Covid-19. Thirty-six samples were taken from Thakur’s residence at Oakover and 27 from the state secretariat Wednesday after a deputy secretary at CM’s office and a BJP leader from Mandi tested positive.
All the samples tested negative at India Gandhi Medical College (IGMC), its senior medical superintendent Dr Janak Raj said.
Dhiman said there is no need to restrict people from meeting CM once he starts attending office after a week. “The chief minister is in public life, people meeting him cannot be restricted. Handling COVID-19 and other activities will go side by side. The only requirement is to maintain social distancing and to adopt cough etiquette to check the spread of the virus,” he added.
Earlier, Dhiman had said that Himachal was doing much better in handling the Covid-19 pandemic compared to other states. The current situation arising out of the recent spike will stabilize soon, he added.
He attributed the recent spike in cases to the arrival of migrant workers, a marriage function in Sirmaur district and movement of the central armed police forces (CAPF) after Indo-China clash in Ladakh’s Galwan valley. The recent positive cases of around 160 migrant workers of industrial town Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh in Solan district, 80 persons of a marriage party at Gobindgarh in Nahan of Sirmaur district and several ITBP and army jawans are isolated ones, he said adding they have nothing to do with the people of the state in general.
The loopholes have been plugged by making quarantine for incoming industrial labourers mandatory a few days ago while the ITBP and Army jawans found positive were already quarantined with their cases having no chance of affecting locals, he added.
Dhiman said the Covid fatality rate in HP is 0.84 per cent as compared to 2.45 per cent at the national level. As many as 17,000 persons out of the per million target population have been tested in HP so far compared to 11,000 at the national level, he added.
Thirdly, the positivity rate in Himachal is 1.3 per cent which is much less than the norm of below 5 per cent set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the central government, he added.
Meanwhile, 44 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday in the state, with 42 in Solan alone, said Dhiman. With this, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state has risen to 1,770.
Of them, 630 are active cases, while 1,112 patients have recovered so far, he added.
Eleven patients succumbed to the virus, whereas 15 patients migrated out of the state.
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