A day after a 69-year-old Mcleodganj resident suffering from COVID-19 passed away, the Himachal Pradesh government imposed a statewide curfew beginning 5 pm from Tuesday.
Kangra district authorities declared a “total lockdown” in Mcleodganj and brought under health surveillance dozens of people who are believed to have come in contact with the deceased.
“It was observed that despite lockdown orders, some people continued to roam the streets as usual and government orders are not being taken as seriously as they should be. A person has passed away here due to COVID-19 and we all need to strengthen our fight against this virus,” said Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in a video address to the public, while declaring a curfew in the state till further orders.
He said that in each district, a coordination committee headed by a Cabinet minister has been constituted for better coordination among various agencies and to ensure availability of essential commodities.
Total lockdown in Mcleodganj
“Mcleodganj is put under total lockdown wherein no one is allowed to enter or leave the place and even move out of their houses. There are sufficient provisions of all essential commodities in Mcleodganj. In case of any emergency, the administration will ensure that all supplies are made available at the earliest,” said Kangra DC R K Prajapati.
After the death of the 69-year-old man from Mcleodganj at Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda, district authorities quarantined his family members, relatives and neighbours, staff of a private hospital where he was initially admitted on Monday, the taxi driver (along with his family) who brought him home from Delhi and also those working at a food establishment in Una district where the victim stopped en route.
Additional chief secretary (health) RD Dhiman that a total of 912 people have been brought under health surveillance in the state so far. Sixteen people were tested for the virus, Dhiman said, out of whom five tested negative and the reports of others are awaited. “An ICMR advisory has recommended the use of hydroxychloroquine for those who may have come in close contact with COVID-19 patients, but with a doctor’s advice as it may have side-effects,” he added.
Advisory to private hospitals
The state government has ordered all private medical practitioners to report to the government details of any patient who has a recent travel history to affected countries, to demarcate separate URI (flu) corners for preventing nosocomial transmission, and to provide adequate personal protective equipment to health workers who may have to deal with suspected COVID-19 cases.
The state government has decided to immediately distribute the April and May quota of wheat flour and rice to National Food Security Act (NFSA) families. The CM also announced a one-time relief of Rs 2,000 to nearly 1.5 lakh workers registered with the Building and Construction Workers Board. He added that increased honorarium to various government employees and increased wages to daily wagers and outsourced labourers will be released by the government.
State Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore appealed to the government to take special measures for all daily wagers, labourers and economically weaker sections. “In remote areas, doctors and paramedical staff have inadequate PPEs and sanitisers which must be provided immediately.
27 FIRs for violating orders
A senior police official said that 27 FIRs have been registered across the state under various charges for violating government orders. Most of them are related to people not reporting their travel history or jumping home quarantine, the official said. With 14 FIRs, Kangra has reported the maximum offences followed by Hamirpur and Shimla districts where 5 and 4 FIRs have been registered respectively.
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