A 63-year-old woman from Kangra who failed to disclose her travel history following her return from Dubai and was later tested positive for COVID-19 has been booked under Section 270 of the IPC, which carries a maximum imprisonment of upto two years.
The woman was “forcefully” quarantined at a hospital after district authorities learnt about her symptoms, officials said. Another COVID-19 patient from Kangra, a 32-year-old who returned from Singapore, was also booked under Section 270 (malignantly does any act which is likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life).
A couple from Arki tehsil in Solan were booked for jumping quarantine following their return from Indonesia while in Shimla’s Rohru subdivision, an entire family was booked, the police said, adding that a similar case was reported from Shimla as well.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh Police Thursday arrested 54 persons across the state for violating curfew and lockdown orders. Bilaspur and Shimla districts reported 20 and 13 arrests respectively, while 10 persons were arrested in Sirmaur.
A total of 40 FIRs were registered in the state during the day, mostly under sections 188 (disobedience to an order promulgated by a public servant), 269 or 270 of the IPC, said SP (law and order) Khushal Chand Sharma. He added that more than a hundred cases related to various “COVID-19 violations” have been registered in the state in the last three days.
Besides lockdown violations, around half a dozen cases registered this week include failure to report to the health surveillance authorities after returning from abroad.
HP reaches out to retd health professionals
Meanwhile, the state government extended an offer of appointment to all medical officers/faculty members and paramedical staff who have retired or been released from the military and paramilitary forces and have experience of working in equivalent/analogous posts. The offer will be purely on a temporary basis as a stop gap arrangement, the government order said. In another order, the government said that public offices will continue to remain closed till March 31 except those involved in emergency and essential services.
Curfew in the state was relaxed for three hours to allow residents to buy grocery and other essential items. Various deputy commissioners have notified timings in the respective districts during which shops can remain open on a daily basis. The supply lines from the farms to vegetable and grain mandis also resumed on Thursday.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur directed officials of the food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department to ensure that work in the wheat flour mills is not interrupted. He said that besides adequate stocks of wheat and rice, the state currently has over 1,200 metric tonnes of salt 4,000 metric tonnes of sugar. There are also sufficient stocks of pulses, especially chana dal and masur, he said, adding that supply of pulses from outside the state will also continue.
Additional chief secretary (health) RD Dhiman said that samples of 34 people were tested for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2 during the day and all of them were found to be negative. 133 people have been tested in the state so far, he said, adding that 636 out of 2257 persons under health surveillance have completed 28 days of observation.
The four Lok Sabha MPs from the state – Anurag Thakur, Kishan Kapoor, Suresh Kashyap and Ramswaroop Sharma – sanctioned a total of Rs 2.27 crore from their MPLAD funds for buying masks, sanitisers and medical equipment.
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