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Post wedding season high, Covid curve flattening in HP

Himachal had witnessed a sharp rise in the number of new infections and deaths in November, a trend which the health officials repeatedly attributed to the wedding season.

By: Express News Service | Shimla | December 22, 2020 6:56:58 pm
Shimla MC election,A total of around 1.97 lakh people cast their votes for 401 ward members in 29 municipal councils and 21 nagar panchayats of the state

The wave of Covid-19 infections, which hit Himachal Pradesh in November, has been receding this month, with the state witnessing a 41 per cent decline in the number of active cases since the end of last month, according to the government data.

The state now has around 4,900 active Covid patients, down from around 8,300 on November 30. There have been 873 Covid-related deaths in the state so far (excluding patients from Himachal who passed away after being referred to PGI, Chandigarh or other hospitals outside the state).

Himachal had witnessed a sharp rise in the number of new infections and deaths in November, a trend which the health officials repeatedly attributed to the wedding season. The increased caseload had threatened to overburden the state’s health infrastructure, with Covid centres nearly filling up to capacity and stray incidents of oxygen shortage being reported in hospitals.

Alarmed at the surge, the state government reintroduced several restrictions in late November, including night curfew in the worst-hit districts, closure of schools and colleges, reduced attendance in government offices, and stringent restrictions on all types of social gatherings.

Authorities also began to augment health infrastructure by dedicating more hospitals to Covid, hiring more health staff and deploying more ambulances for Covid duty.

By December 7, the number of active cases had fallen below 8,000 and by December 14, below 7,000. On Monday, active cases fell below the 5,000 mark.

Currently, Mandi and Kangra are the worst-hit districts having 1,075 and 826 active cases respectively. Solan and Shimla have 798 and 742 active cases respectively. The remaining eight districts have fewer than 300 active cases each, with Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti having the least number of active cases, ie 89 and 45 respectively.

Meanwhile, Himachal Youth Congress president Negi Nigam Bhandari Tuesday held a protest outside the DC office in Shimla, alleging that positive Covid cases have come down in the state due to insufficient testing. Patients are reluctant to get treated in hospitals, he said, demanding that additional nurses be recruited on a regular basis and testing be increased in rural areas in view of the upcoming panchayat elections.

Covid in HP

Total Cases – 52,623

Active Cases – 4,886

Recoveries – 46,817

Deaths – 873

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