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With season’s first snowfall, Himachal shivers under a cold wave

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Mild rainfall lowers the temperature in Shimla, people hope snowfall isn’t far away

With mercury dipping low day by day, the hill state of Himachal is feeling the brunt of winter. With Manali getting light snowfall, tourist spots near Shimla, like Narkanda, Fagu and Kufri also experienced snowflakes, which ultimately melted within a couple of hours.

According to the weather report, areas like Lahaul and Spiti along with Chamba, Kinnaur and Kullu have also had their first snowfall of the season while Rohtang pass witnessed more than one foot of snow. The capital city, Shimla is also feeling the cold waves as the temperature has suddenly dropped with the lowest being around -3 degree. Although the capital has been going through mild rainfall, people feel that the snow isn’t far away. Citizens have already started using their woolens to counter this cold and chilly weather.

The winter season not only means cold weather and snowfall but it also means heavy rush of tourists from the surrounding states and from the entire country. Tourists and travelers are already on their way to Kullu & Manali in huge numbers. Shimla, too, is expecting a great winter season. However, the public can enjoy the sun during the day with clear sky as the weather department predicts no further rain or snowfall, at least not for the next couple of weeks.

By Vayu Mankotia , Shimla, Member HW Community

Misc News/Press Release

No Permission Needed to Enter Himachal for Persons Having Airline Ticket, Valid Boarding Pass, Train Ticket: Govt

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HP Govt's guidelines for entering himachal pradesh via air and trains

Shimla-The State Government today issued the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) for movement of travellers by domestic flights and trains to Himachal Pradesh. It was informed by a spokesperson of the State Government .

Installing of Aarogya Setu App has been made mandatory for all individuals with Android and iOS phones before boarding the flight/trains and entering the State. The full protocol of social distancing and other guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) while boarding and de-boarding must be maintained.

The travellers would be screened at the airport/railway station before they are allowed to travel to Himachal Pradesh. Arrangement for thermal screening to check ILI/flu-like symptoms to be done at the entry point of the border check post/district concerned of HP.

The airline ticket, valid boarding pass and confirmed train ticket would be a valid document for the movement beyond the Airport arrival terminals and railway stations to respective destination in Himachal. No permission of State Authorities would be needed to enter the State. However, the travellers need to carry a Valid ID Card to prove his identity at the entry point in State.

The spokesperson said that arriving passengers requiring a taxi from airport and railway station to the State may only use authorized and verified taxi service providers. The Entry/Exit from State Borders would be allowed only between 7 AM to 7 PM. The passengers coming from Red Zone would have to mandatorily be shifted to an institutional quarantine facility earmarked by the District Administration for 14 days quarantine.

Other passengers coming from Orange/Green zone would be screened before sending them for home quarantine for 14 days as per guidelines of the MoHFW. In case the individuals want to use any better quarantine facility other than designated Institutional Quarantine by the District Administration, the same may be arranged on a payment basis.

He said that all persons put in institutional quarantine will have to mandatorily undergo COVID test between six to 10 days of the quarantine period. If found negative, they can be released for further home quarantine.

If the person is carrying a personal COVID test report issued by a lab authorized by ICMR, which is negative and has been issued within the last 3 days prior to the date of journey, then institutional quarantine would not be insisted and he/she can straightaway go for home quarantine. Such persons would have to sign an undertaking to ensure a self-monitoring of their health for 14 more days as per protocol. The persons will be shifted to the medical facility maintained by the State Government at the earliest if found positive for COVID-19 at any stage.

All persons after leaving institutional quarantine facility are essentially required to provide their arrival information to the local Urban Local Bodies/ Panchayati Raj Institutions (ULBs/PRIs). The concerned ULB and PRI will monitor the person with the help of the local ASHA/ Health worker regularly for at least the next 14 days. If the person is found to be symptomatic of ILI or COVID-19, the concerned ASHA/Health Worker will immediately report the matter to the Health Authorities. Health Authorities will immediately take the sample of the individual for COVID-19 and take further necessary action as per the outcome of the test report.

He said that all the passengers will strictly follow and ensure compliance to the general instructions/guidelines to be followed by passengers, and Specific Operating Guidelines for major stakeholders for recommencement of Domestic Flights issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India

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Hamirpur Blunder: 15 Returnees Sent Home, Later Found COVID-19 Positive

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Hamirpur covid-19 postive people sent to homes

Hamirpur– The District Administration, Hamirpur, has landed in a controversy after a blunder came to light on Wednesday night. As many as 15 people, who were sent to homes before the confirmation of their test report, were found to be COVID-19 positive late yesterday night. This blunder could lead to a catastrophe in the district. 

The samples of 43 returnees from Maharashtra were sent to IHBT, Palampur, and they were found to be negative in the first test. Their samples were taken again in which 15 tested positive. However,  these people were allowed to go to homes without confirming the report of the second test. As per the guidelines, such persons can only be allowed to go to homes after confirmation of the second report.

But after the confirmation of second reports, all 15 were brought back to quarantine centres in a haste on the intervening night of May 27 and 28.

These persons had returned from Mumbai and Thane in a special train and were quarantined at Navodya Vidyalaya at Dungri, Deotsidh and Nadaun, the Deputy Commissioner, Hamirpur, Harikesh Meena, told PTI.

In another statement to an English Daily, the DC termed it a result of miscommunication. He said a probe has been ordered into the matter.

The Chief Medical Officer, Archan Soni, said responsible administrative and health staff would be held responsible.

Hamirpur is already on the top of the list with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 positive at 93, of which 84 are active. This blunder could create chaos as these 15 people were assured that they tested negative and might not have taken many precautions on reaching homes, which put their families at a high risk of contracting the infection.  

Earlier, this morning, the Bilaspur city was declared a containment zone and sealed after a person tested positive from Bamta area along with six others. The administration suspected that this person concealed his travel history and might have gone out and come in contact with other people in the market.

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Panic Grips Bilaspur as City Sealed after COVID-19 Positive Man Suspected of Hiding Travel History

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Bilaspur city sealed and declared containment zone

Bilaspur-In district Bilaspur, the Administration on Thursday morning sealed the entire city including Bamta area after declaring it a containment zone. All shops in the market were shut-down and movement of people and vehicles except those falling in exempted categories have been prohibited completely. This sudden move of the administration created stir in the area. 

The areas falling under containment zones include Ward No 11, village Nihal of Gram Panchayat Bamta, HRTC Colony in Ward No 1 of Municipal Council Bilaspur, Danoh and Kosarina village of Bamta, Gurudwara market, Gandhi market and College Chowk markets falling under the MC.

In the buffer zone, all the remaining area that did not fall under the containment zone in Ward No 1 has been declared a buffer zone. Similarly, Kosarian Ward of Bilaspur MC, Nihal-1 upto ITI Bilaspur, main market and Changer sector have also been included in the buffer zone.

The order of declaring the city as a containment zone came after seven persons were reported to have tested positive in Bilaspur on Wednesday evening. According to the district administration and police, one of these persons had not disclosed his travel history and there was a risk that he might have come in contact with others in the city as he was not under institutional quarantine.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Bilaspur, Sanjay Sharma, confirmed the report and said the entire containment area has been sealed and traffic movement brought to a halt. He said action would be taken against any person who would be found moving around in this area without a specific reason.

However, an official confirmation regarding contacts of this person is still awaited. Health officials were tracing the contact history of this person.

According to the notification issued by the district administration on Thursday, no movement of vehicles allowed except those involved in the enforcement of containment plan, emergency services and vehicles passing through NH-205. The passing vehicles through the NH would not be allowed to stop and passengers/driver can’t get out or board anyone in the containment zone.

The supplies of essential goods like milk, groceries, fruits, vegetables, medicines, cooking gas etc. in the above-mentioned containment zone would be made through the Government delivery committee, headed and formed by the SDM concerned, the notification said.

These orders would remain in force till further orders.

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