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Himachal girl’s claim of surviving 34 snake-bites in 3 years: A mystery or mental disorder?

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Mysterious Himachal snakebite girl

SHIMLA- A mysterious story of a girl from Trans-Giri region of Himachal Pradesh has been doing rounds of social media and has also attracted attention of the main-stream media as well.

Manisha, an 18-years-old girl from a remote region in district Sirmaur of Himachal Pradesh, caught attention of media when on Saturday she was brought to a hospital in Nahan. Her father claimed she was bitten by the snake and lost consciousness thereafter. However, the doctors couldn’t find any trace of venom in her blood or sign of snake-bite. The girl retained consciousness after few hours without any treatment or dose of anti-venom.

A native of Pota Village, in Manal Panchayat in Trans-Giri region of Shillai, Manisha and her parents reportedly made an unbelievable claim that for the last three years, Manisha has been bitten by snakes for the 34th time. The girl further claimed she has survived all the bites.

Manisha, in a statement to a daily, said,

I have been bitten by snakes over 30 times in the past three years. The first time I was bitten was near a river in my village. Recently, I was bitten by a white snake. Whenever I see a snake I get enchanted and then it bites me. There was some time two years ago when I did not get bitten. During school I have been repeatedly bitten by a snake, at times even twice or thrice a day.

A report in the same daily also said that the medical records show she was bitten for the 34th time.

Her father Sumar Sharma told an English Daily,

None has seen a snake but one can see the impressions of the fangs on her body. We took her to panditji, who said she had a link with snakes from her previous birth,

he said.

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The parents feel it was due to the blessings of their deity that she has been surviving the deadly bites.

As per the local forest officer,

I have no idea which snake has bitten her. We have Russell’s Vipers in Shillai and other areas of Sirmaur. But rattle snakes are also common. Non-poisonous snakes may have bitten her.

However, the doctors at the Dr. YS Parmar Medical College and Hospital, Nahan, and anti-venom specialists are not convinced with this story.

Dr KK Prashar, medical superintendent, Nahan medical college, said that the Medical College has suggested help of psychological counseller for the girl.

It can be an imagination. It could be a coincident that the girl was bitten by non-poisonous snakes, but 34 times is quite unbelievable. We believe in test reports and so far none of the tests confirmed presence of any type of snake venom in her blood. There are no marks of snake bites either.

he said.

Meanwhile, a Shimla-based veterinarian has come up with an interesting explanation regarding the possibility of development of anti-venom properties in the girl due to repeated snake-bites.

There is possibility that girl is bitten by snakes and the blood may have developed a mechanism to undo the effect of the venom,

he said.

On this, the experts at the department of pharmacology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi also believe it to be a case of bites from non-poisonous snakes.

There have been reports where human body has developed antibodies against snake venom but the quantity usually is not enough to provide long-term protection. Some people are known to have survived successive snakebites, but whether it’s due to sufficient concentration of antibodies hasn’t been established,

said Dr YK Gupta, head of department.

Head of the Psychiatry department at Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Dr Ravi Chand Sharma, also expressed his disbelief about the claims. He suggested that adolescences are very vulnerable to what is called “attention seeking”. Teens can create such stories to get attention of others.

I don’t think it is true. It can be an attention-catching tactic. This is common among children to say unusual things to catch attention,

he told the English daily.

As a matter of fact, the Trans-Giri region has not seen enough development and its ways and culture is mostly tribal in nature. People here still believe in mythological tales and beliefs associated with local deities. The statements of the parents also support the aforesaid statement. While, this claim is difficult to prove, it is also not possible to believe it.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Himachal: Seven COVID-19 Deaths, 395 New Cases in a Day

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Himachal pradesh corona deaths

Shimla-On Thursday, Himachal Pradesh reported 395 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection. Seven fresh casualties were reported, taking the COVID-19 death tally in the state to 96. According to the official Bulletin released by the Health Department for September 17, 2020 (9 PM), the total for the state has risen to 11190, of which 4145 are active cases and 6919 had recovered.  

Seven fatalities also included a 14-year-old male from Shimla. He was a patient of Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Remaining six aged between 50-82 years.  As per the Health Department’s official Bulletin, all seven patients had pre-existing medical conditions like Diabetes Mellitus, severe Sepsis, severe ARDS, Hypertension etc.  

Details of COVID-19 Fatalities on September 17 (till 9 PM)

covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh on september 17, 2020-

Among Thursday’s cases, Sirmaur reported the highest 82 cases, followed by Kangra (76), Mandi (70), Solan (49), Una (38), Shimla (30), Lahaul-Spiti (15), Kullu (13), Bilaspur (12), Chamba (7), and Hamirpur (3).

Further, Solan has reported the highest number of cases (2525), and Kangra district has reported the highest number of casualties (20), followed by Solan (18), and Shimla (17).

For more statistics from all districts, view the table given below:

Himachal Pradesh-september 17, 2020, covid-19 update

Several media persons complained that the Health Officials have even stopped taking their calls and release required information. The Chief Minister, in today’s Vidhan Sabha session, compared fatality rate of Himachal Pradesh (0.8%) with the national rate (1.64%) and states having larger population like Punjab (2.8%). He claimed the state government was comfortable with the situation and rising number of cases. He said five make-shift COVID-19 hospitals, which are yet to be established, would take care of the rise in cases.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today patted his own back by releasing an e-book “Sewa Hi Sangathan” brought out by the State BJP.

In this book, BJP has claimed that various initiatives and steps were taken by the party to effectively tacking the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Minister also termed the “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” as a success and went on to say that it has stabilized rural economy of the country and the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Defending the decision to lift all restrictions on inter-state movement of people, including tourists, amid a community spread, he termed it a necessary step to revive the state economy. In a way, the government has made it clear that the people would have to learn to live with COVID-19.

Feature Image: [email protected]

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Himachal: 460 New COVID-19 Cases with One More Death, Situation to Worsen as State Borders Open for All

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday reported a single-day spike of 460 COVID-19 cases with one death, confirmed the state Health Department. According to the latest update (9 PM), Solan district (117) had reported the highest number of cases. Remaining cases were reported from Kangra (92), Mandi (58), Shimla (51), Lahaul-Spiti (46), Una (31), Kinnaur (14), Sirmaur (14), Bilaspur (13), Chamba (12), Kullu (8), and Hamirpur (4).

The COVID-19 tally has now reached 10795, of which 4146 are active, 6531 recovered, and 89 died.

HP Health Department’s COVID-19 Bulletin for September 15, 2020 (9 PM)

Himachal Pradesh daily covid19 update september 16

The number is likely to witness a huge surge as the state government has removed all restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. No permission or registration of any sorts is required to enter the state. Tourists won’t need to present a COVID-19 report and advance booking to enter the state. At the time of the writing, a large number of tourists and other people had already entered the state as the borders were opened today evening.

Also Read: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

Tourists are happy with the decision. According to a media report, earlier tourists reaching state borders without registration were being tricked to pay Rs. 300 to register and enter the state.  It was later that they found out that registration process was free of any charges. 

Inter-state bus services are also expected to resume operation soon.

Feature Image: unsplash/@sonance

 

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Himachal: No E-Pass, No COVID-19 Negative Report, No Registration Needed to Enter State

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Tourist entry in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Borders of Himachal Pradesh are now open to all including tourists without any restriction at all. The state government has issued a notification today regarding the same. The decision has been taken in a time when the state has already entered in the ‘community spread phase’ and both the number of positive cases, as well as, the mortality rate is rising at an alarming rate.

As per the notification,

“There shall be no requirement of registration for inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements. However, inter-state movement of public transport buses shall be operated only as per the SOPs to be issued by the Department of Transport, Himachal Pradesh, after ensuring full readiness to comply with the SOPs.”

The notification came following the decision taken in a meeting of the state Cabinet on September 15, 2020. At the same time, the government maintained that the quarantine rules would still apply except for those carrying COVID-19 negative report. 

The government said the step was taken on repeated appeals of the Centre government and several sections of the people. This step would boost economic activities, the government said.

The government has also changed the ‘discharge policy’ for COVID-19 patients. The government said that it would now implement ‘Discharge Policy framed by the ICMR and the Centre government. Now, those patients who would be found asymptomatic after 10 days, would be discharged without any test. They’ll be asked to home-quarantine for seven days.    

The government said make-shift hospitals would be established at five places – Shimla, Tanda, Nalagarh Una, and Nahan. Each hospital would have a capacity of 50 beds.

Changes have also been approved in the policy for allowing opening of new nursing institute in the state. Only institutes having a hospital (100 bed) would be permitted to open nursing colleges. The GNM course would be discontinued after the 2020-21 session. Already running institutes would need to apply for conversion of this course into B.Sc Nursing. The government also decided that except for M.Sc nursing courses, no other course would be granted fresh attachment to government hospitals.

Meanwhile, during today’s session of the state Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Jairam said that the rise in COVID-19 cases was inevitable with the steps taken by the government to revive economic activities.

He claimed the government has taken all necessary steps to contain the spread of coronavirus. He claimed that the government is well-prepared to deal with the rising number of cases. ICU beds, oxygen, supporting beds and other equipment in sufficient quantities.

The Chief Minister compared the situation of the state to bigger states/union territories like Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan etc. in a failed attempt to convince the opposition during the session that the state government was doing better than others. The opposition commented that the government has left the people of the state on their own.

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