Two people tested positive for novel coronavirus in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday night, taking the total number of cases in the state to 53, including 11 active cases.
Additional chief secretary (health) RD Dhiman said that the two patients tested positive in Kangra and Hamirpur. “There are now two active cases in Hamirpur and three each in Kangra and Chamba, while Mandi, Shimla and Una districts have one patient each,” he said.
The sample of a woman living in Sirmaur district tested positive for novel coronavirus in a private laboratory on Friday, health officials said. She has been isolated and her samples are now being tested in a government-run facility.
Sirmaur chief medical officer Dr K K Prashar said that the woman has no recent travel history outside the state. “We cannot share details about the patient until her results are out,” he said.
On Friday, four people had tested positive across the state, comprising a woman from Amb who had returned from Delhi, a man from Shahpur who had returned from Noida, a Hamirpur resident who returned from Delhi and the two-year-old daughter of a COVID-19 patient in Chamba.
Excluding the private laboratory report, 10 confirmed cases have been reported in Himachal since May 4, and most of them have been linked to people who have returned from NCR in the last two weeks.
In a video message on Facebook, one of the COVID-19 patients from Jogindernagar said that he had quarantined himself at home after his return from Delhi and urged all people who have returned from other states to observe strict home quarantine “to save your family, village and society”.
DGP S R Mardi said on Saturday that a majority of the people in quarantine are obeying the law but a few people are openly flouting the norms, such as a couple from Haroli who returned from Moga, and some people in Bilaspur who returned from Delhi. He said that in Balh, some people have been booked for misbehaving with a female home guard after violating the curfew.
Mardi thanked the residents of Bhaba valley in Kinnaur for standing guard along with the police personnel, ensuring home quarantine for the returnees and keeping a vigil on violations.
In a video interaction with panchayat pradhans from Chamba and Kangra, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur asked them to keep all returnees in their respective panchayats under their surveillance to ensure quarantine but maintain cordial relations with them and not stigmatise COVID-19 patients. He asked them to care for labourers from other states. In a letter to his counterpart in Andhra Pradesh Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, Thakur urged him to provide assistance to Himachal residents stranded in Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi.
COVID fund misused, alleges Cong
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri on Saturday alleged that the COVID-19 relief fund was misused to buy mobile phones worth nearly Rs 1.75 lakh for some government officers involved in COVID-19-related duties. In a letter to the Governor, he alleged that sanitizers were procured at prices higher than the determined costs, and a wage cut has been imposed on health workers and police personnel. He questioned the decision to appoint a new principal at the IGMC Hospital in Shimla and the “inhuman way” of cremating a COVID-19 patient who died of renal failure at the hospital earlier this week.
He alleged that there is discrimination in the screening process of people returning from other states and the government is trying to suppress the media by threatening to use the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Meanwhile, BJP general secretary Trilok Jamwal said that the Congress is only engaged in negative politics and has done nothing constructive for the state during the pandemic. He alleged that Congress leaders are making contradictory statements and are not clear about what they want to say.
Train from Goa to bring back 1204
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said that a special train will bring back 1,204 people from the state stranded in Goa. It will leave Goa for Una on May 13 or 14, he said.