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Shimla jaundice outbreak : Blame game after thousands hospitalised, 7 dead

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SHIMLA-  The recent outbreak of jaundice in the State capital that resulted in the hospitalisation of thousands with hepatitis-E cases and the subsequent downplaying of the epidemic by the Congress-led government has snowballed into a game of passing the buck from one department or ministry to another with varied political interests.

While the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of the local Municipal Corporation belong to the CPI(M), the majority of the councillors represent the BJP and the Congress. The Shimla MLA also belongs to the BJP.

The entire water sources of the State are managed by the Irrigation and Public Health Department, while the distribution of water is handled by the Municipal Corporation. The blame game started after drinking water from Ashwani Khad was contaminated by leaking sewage water from one of the sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the town. This drinking water source caters to a large section of the population in the eastern areas of the town.

After shifting the responsibilities from one department to another, cabinet ministers also started issuing contradictory statements against each other on water supply and sewage system in the town.

The Urban Development Minister has clearly stated that the STPs being run by the IPH department are redundant, ill-planned and non-functional claimed both the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor.

They also termed as “ridiculous” the Urban Development Minister’s allegation that the Shimla Municipal Corporation “did not prepare” any plan to resolve the problem of potable water and sewerage system.

Whereas, under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) Mission and the State Level Implementation Plans (SLIPS) prepared by the Corporation, the sum earmarked for the purpose is Rs. 52.94 crore for 2015-16, including Rs. 46.28 crore for Water and Sewerage schemes alone, which amounts to 93 percent of the total amount till March, 2016, they said.

The Government of India had released Rs. 15.58 crore for the purpose, but, surprisingly, the money lies with the State government and has not been released to the MC as per the AMRUT guidelines, they alleged.

The Mayor and Deputy Mayor urged the Urban Development Minister to question the IPH minister about the “ill-maintenance and inefficient running” of the STPs, instead of the Corporation. The State government has already withdrawn the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) project from the MC, giving it to the IPH department. However, in a letter written to the Chief Minister, IPH minister Vidya Stokes said the ministry has not received any sanctions for running the project.

The Minister also said the sewage system was run by the Municipal Corporation and that only one-third of the households were connected to a proper system. The government has failed in managing the sewage connections and this water goes to the drinking water sources.

Ms Stokes has demanded that funds released by the Urban Development Ministry be transferred to the IPH department from the Corporation

Expressing surprise at the conflicting statements, the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor have called for the Chief Minister’s intervention for supply of clean potable water for the public. They have also lodged an FIR against erring contractors of the IPH department. About a dozen IPH officials are already behind bars for supplying contaminated water to residents in the State capital.

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Himachal Heads Towards Full Lockdown as Covid Cases Spike; 5,424 New Infections and 37 Deaths Reported in 24 Hours

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Shimla-With 37 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours due to severe Covid symptoms, Himachal Pradesh’s total death toll has climbed to 1,817 on Saturday. The state reported 5,424 new cases of infection taking the total to 1,28,330.

Kangra district reported the highest number of fatalities with 14 deaths followed by state capital Shimla that reported 11 deaths in the last 24-hours. A 27-year-old woman was the youngest patient to die due to coronavirus and Pneumonia in the district of Kangra.

The infection has claimed the lives of 497 people in Kangra and 391 in Shimla till now.

 A total of 18725 people across the state were sampled for the infection on Saturday, an increase from Friday when 12,930. On Saturday a total of 3,634 tests remain awaited, the maximum is from Kangra district with 1,258 Covid tests awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

According to a report by The Tribune, many RT-PCR test samples collected in Kangra district on April 29 were still awaited. Considering the fatality of the virus this mismanagement by state health authorities can prove deadly for many patients if they do not receive the diagnosis on time. With a delay of over a week, patients are also doubting the authenticity of the samples since they are potent for testing for just 24 hours under ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association came down heavily on the Health Ministry on Saturday criticising the lack of medical equipment and crumbling medical infrastructure. In a press release on Saturday, the IMA urged the central government to ‘wake up from its slumber’ as thousands of Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms due to lack of basic medical equipment like oxygen cylinders, ambulances, and more. The IMA also pointed out the lack of Covid vaccine stock even though everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive their shots. The press release also mentioned that sporadic night curfew will not be much effective in curbing the spread of infection and requested the government that life is more precious than the economy.

The Himachal government has now planned on imposing a full lockdown in the state considering the rapid increase of infection cases.  However, the government is apprehensive in using the term “lockdown” and is still calling it “corona curfew”.

Also Read: Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

The update comes after a partial corona curfew was put in place from May 7. Under the new lockdown rules, public transport both private and the government will not be running, and shops selling essential commodities will remain open for three hours only. Timing of the shops would be fixed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. Citizens will also not be allowed to travel in private vehicles unless there is an urgent requirement.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh may 8

Feature Photo:Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

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Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

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Shimla-Curfew Rules in Himachal Pradesh have been changed from 10 May onwards. More stringent restrictive measures would be put in place, the state government said today.

The Disaster Management Cell of the Revenue Department, HP Government, today issued a notification regarding the changes in the curfew rules which will come into effect from May 10 (6 am) to 17 May (6 am).

According to the notification, from 10 May onwards all public and private transport would remain closed. Movement of private vehicles would also be restricted except for emergency cases, vaccination, testing and treatment for COVID-19, and those used in the delivery of essential, medical and public services.  

Only shops selling essentials and daily needs such as food grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, groceries would be allowed to open for only three hours.

Further, shops dealing in construction material would also remain closed for now.

This time limit would not apply to pharmacies and medical stores.

Notification regarding the timings would be issued by the concerned district administrations, the government said.   

The reason behind the decision was cited to be the alarming rate of COVID-19 spread and fatality. The situation is likely to become more like a complete lockdown. 

The decision has also come after Chief Minister Jairam Thakur spoke to Prime Minister Narender Modi regarding the situation in the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had been facing flak over imposing a corona curfew with very flexible rules. Chief Minister, however, argues that the decision was taken to ensure that the livelihood of the people doesn’t get affected adversely.

Also Read: IMA Asks Govt, Why Are We Hiding the Actual Death Count? Demands Health Ministry to Wake Up from Slumber

Also, today, the Indian Medical Association issued a statement in which it condemned the union health ministry over its lackadaisical attitude in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a stern tone. The Association lashed out at the government over ignoring its recommendation for a complete and nationwide lockdown to break the chain.

Also, the Association alleged that the ministry is deciding without taking ground realities into account, which the health experts had been bringing to its notice. The IMA also questions the government as to why it was trying to hide the true number of COVID-19 casualties.

Today, the state has lost 37 lives to the infection and reported 5424 new cases.

Chief Minister claims that the state has a sufficient supply of oxygen, but the number of available oxygen cylinders was still an issue that needs to be attended to.

Earlier today, the government suggested that more stringent restrictive actions could be taken in Sirmaur, Solan, Una, and Kangra district, which are reporting a high number of new cases and fatalities.

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Himachal Reports 56 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours, Over 60% Had No Comorbidities

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Shimla– On Friday Himachal Pradesh reported 56 deaths due to coronavirus infection taking the total number of casualties in the state to 1,780, according to official data released by the state government. This is the highest number of deaths in a day in the state so far. About 38 patients (over 60%) who succumbed to the infection had no other medical condition.

A total of 4,177 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported on Friday taking the total to 1,22,906.

In Kangra district, a total of 21 Covid-patients succumbed to the severe symptoms, reporting the highest number of casualties. Meanwhile, Sirmaur reported nine casualties followed by Solan district where eight patients died due to the infection.

The youngest patient who died of Covid-19 was a 20-year-old woman from the Mandi district. The patient was also reported to have comorbid pulmonary tuberculosis. One of the patients who died due to severe symptoms of Covid-19 was a 27-year-old woman from Sirmaur district who was pregnant with her second child.

Also Read: Coronavirus Claims Life of 12-Year-Old Boy in Himachal 

Today, a total of 15,495 samples were tested as compared to yesterday’s 18694. The state government had been directing officials to increase testing regularly, but the actual number hasn’t crossed 20,000 per day so far.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 7, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

corona cases in himachal

A total of 122,930 people across the state have been sampled for coronavirus till now. Out of this test results of 5,234 people are awaited while.

After Backlash, HP Govt Increases Incentive for Health Staff

On Thursday, the state government decided to increase the incentive paid to the final year students from MBBS, nursing, and contractual doctors in Covid hospitals who will be roped in to boost the on-ground staff.

Earlier, the state government had announced that it will be paying Rs 3,000 per month to the Junior and Senior Resident doctors and fourth and fifth-year medical students while final year nursing students were to be paid Rs 1,500 per month for their duty in Covid wards. After facing much criticism, the state government has now increased the incentive to Rs 10,000 per month for fourth and fifth-year MBBS students, Junior and Senior Residents, and Contractual Doctors. For third-year Nursing students, the incentive has been increased to Rs 6,000, while Contractual Lab staff, and third-year General Nursing and Midwifery students will get Rs 5000 per month for their Covid duty.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Casualties for May 7, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

COVID-19 report himachal pradesh 2021 l

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