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Coronavirus: HP Govt Invokes National Disaster Management Act, Read All Directions Issued for Shimla

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HP Govt Directions for Coronavirus in Shimla

Shimla- So far, eight suspected cases have been reported in Himachal Pradesh, however, all of them have tested negetive, the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today informed.  

However, in wake of the havoc that coronavirus pandemic has wrecked across the globe, Himachal Pradesh Government has invoked the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, (DM, Act.). Under this act, the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Amit Kashyap, under Section 34 of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, issued several directions as precautionary measure against transmission of COVID-19, in Shimla District (HP).

Now, no Langers and Bhandaras will be held in the jurisdiction of the district till 31st March, 2020.

Dhabas, bars, food courts, restaurants, hotels, etc., have been directed to maintain proper cleanliness in their premises and provide adequate facilities for sanitizing to all the visitors/customers. The staff engaged in cooking and serving the food will have to use masks and follow guidelines for proper health hygiene as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI

No Conferences, events, rallies, dharnas, protests, processions etc., will be organised within the territorial limits of District Shimla till 31st March, 2020.

No massage centres, spas, swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium etc. will operate in the district till 31st March, 2020.

The MD, HRTC, Director Transport and MD, HPTDC have been directed to ensure that all the public and private buses and taxis operating in the District are sanitised with the prescribed disinfectants at regular intervals as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI.

The Chief Executive Officer, HPBSM&DA, will have to ensure proper cleanliness and facilities for sanitization at all the bus stands in the district. All these officers will have to ensure and organise necessary briefings and sensitisation of the drivers, conductors and cleaners, through their staff and necessary advisory will be displayed at the Bus Stands and inside the Buses and taxis.

Director, Urban Development and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Shimla will have to ensure that public places particularly the bus/taxi, sabzi mandis, railway stations, marked areas etc. in the District will be sanitized with the prescribed disinfectant. They have been directed to ensure and organise necessary briefings and sensitisation of their staff. The sweepers/sanitary staff should be provided the PPEs, Gloves, Caps, Masks, Boots etc. to be used by them while working. Garbage would be collected from the households on day to day basis and the same would be disposed of in a proper manner.

The Commissioner, MC Shimla, have been asked to remove all unauthorized fruits/vegetables vendors and rehri walas to avoid congestion on the roads and streets so as to enable pedestrians to have safe distance between each other.

Further, the Director, Tourism, have been directed to ensure that proper precautionary measures are taken in all the hotels, home stay units and other tourism units including proper cleanliness and availability of sanitizers.

All the tourists coming from abroad will have to furnish their information/particulars complete in all respects on the prescribed self-declaration formats, already made available at the hotels, home stay units etc. The details will have to be conveyed to the concerned medical authorities immediately.

All the heads of educational institutions including HPU and other Private Universities will have to ensure to furnish details of all the foreign students, as well as, Indian students having visited foreign countries, who have returned during last one month, to the Chief Medical Officer, Shimla and District Surveillance Officer Shimla.

The Director, Health Services has been directed to take all necessary steps regarding training of health officials /surveillance personnel and providing necessary facilities /equipments /medicines etc. for prevention and control of COVID-19, well in time.

Further, Director, Shimla Airport has been directed to provide all necessary co-ordination and support to the health official’s team deployed at the airport for the purpose of screening of passengers de-boarding at the Airport. Director, Shimla Airport, will have to ensure cleaning of entire airport premises with the prescribed disinfectant at such regular intervals

It has been made mandatory for all the banks to ensure proper cleanliness and availability of adequate sanitizers in the Banks for the customers. The banks have been asked to sanitize ATMs as well.

The Superintendent of Police, Shimla, has been directed to ensure that large congregations are not allowed to gather, in a closed group, at any place within the jurisdiction of District Shimla except at bus stands, railway stations, and airport, where passengers are boarding and de-boarding for their respective destination.

All the shopkeepers, wholesalers, restaurant owners, fruit/ vegetables vendors have been directed to take measures for proper cleanliness in and around their shops/premises. They will have to ensure that buyers are allowed to stay inside the shops as per the space available, without any congestion. The Beopar Mandals are also asked to take steps to educate them and implement the directions being given for maintaining cleanliness.

Further, the public at large has also been informed that section 51 of the Disaster Management Act has provisions for penalties in case a person obstructs any officer or employee in discharge of his duties or refuses to comply with any direction given under this Act. Any violation of the above directions will, therefore, lead to prosecution under section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the notification said.

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Quarantine Facility for Migrant Labourers Responsibility of Industrialist/Contractor: HP Govt

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Himachal-pradesh-new directions for migrant labourer entry

Shimla-As the relaxation in entry and quarantine rules for migrant labourers seems to be backfiring, the Chief Minister Jairam-led Himachal Pradesh Government has come into a damage control mode. Today, the Government said that it has decided that the industrialists or their contractors in the industrial area would be allowed to bring labourers after due approval of the administration. They would be kept in quarantine as per guidelines issued by the Health Department, it said.  

As per the Government directions, big industrial units will have to create adequate quarantine capacity, whereas small units can pool for creating the quarantine facility. The Industries and Labour and Employment Departments have also been asked to keep a strict vigil on industrial units to follow the SOP issued from time to time in this regard, the Government said.

The directions came following a widespread criticism of recent decision taken by the State Government to allow entry of all including tourists to Himachal with merely registering on an online portal and furnishing a COVID-19 negative test report of an accredited laboratory. Any such person did not require any prior permission and their details were confirmed only on their arrival at the State borders.Also, quarantine rules were relaxed for migrant labourers after industries and apple growers faced a shortage of labour due to the return of these workers to their home states amid corona pandemic. However, with an explosion of COVID-19 cases among workers of factories in the BBN area, the government seems to be backtracking to control it. 

All Persons with ILI Symptoms to be Tested

The Chief Medical Officers have been asked to increase the testing capacity of COVID-19 in their respective districts. Directions have been given that all the persons with ILI symptoms should be invariably tested for COVID-19 besides ensuring proper testing of all the primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 patients.

Temples to Remain Closed for Now

Given the festive season, the State Government has decided not to open the temples and other religious places in the State for the time being to avoid overcrowding.  The officers have been asked to strictly enforce the decision of allowing the participation of not more than 50 persons in marriages and other family functions.

The Government also informed that about 1560 people of the State have arrived from 78 cities of 61 countries to the State after being medically examined. Out of these 1117 persons had arrived at New Delhi Airport, 192 at Amritsar Airport and 248 persons at Chandigarh International Airport. As many as 613 flights were attended by the Officers of the State Government at New Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh Airports.

 

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Himachal: After Widespread Backlash, HP Govt Again Make Changes in Rules for Entry, Quarantine

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Himachal Pradesh New Rules for Entry

Shimla-Rules for entry into Himachal Pradesh were again changed by the State Government on Tuesday. After facing widespread criticism over its decision to open the State borders for all including tourists amid sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, the Government has yet again accepted that opening State borders for entry without e-pass or any permission has created problems of its own.

Additional Chief Secretary Health R.D. Dhiman on July 14 said that e-passes are not being issued presently to the people entering the state. They are being allowed to enter the state based on the information they provided, but many people are hiding their proper address and identity, he accepted. Also, instances have been reported where such person entered the state by furnishing fake COVID-19 negative report or lying about their purpose of their visits.

“Keeping this in view now every entrant will have to verify the required information and only after certifying this information they would be registered to enter the state otherwise strict legal action would be taken against them,” said Dhiman informing about the new guidelines.

Further, after the appearance of a record 69 cases in the Baddi area -the industrial hub of the State – on Monday, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur-led State Government has been facing backlash over relaxing quarantine rules for migrant labourers coming to the area.

Also Read: Himachal Reports 78 Cases in Single Day Including Record 69 from Solan Alone

Following this backlash, the State Government was compelled to again make changes in the rules regarding the condition of quarantine for migrant labourers entering the state. 

“The return of industrial labourers has also begun from other states. However, keeping in view the increase of COVID-19 patients due to people coming from other states, it has been decided by the State Government to keep the industrial labourers in either institutional quarantine or in-home quarantine,” Jairam said. 

The contractor and industrial institutions would be completely responsible for it, he said.

“They would be allowed to work after their report for COVID-19 is found negative,” he said.  

It’s pertinent to mention that it is almost impossible for such labourers to follow home-quarantine as they mostly live in shared spaces with common facilities like a toilets/washrooms and water supply. In many cases, they use common toilets located outside their living spaces. 

Further, as per the orders, the inter-state movement of public transport buses would remain prohibited. However, taxis can ply through registration on COVID-19 e-Pass portal. Taxi drivers coming into the State for dropping would be exempted from quarantine if they return within 24 hours of the entry.

Also Read: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

The State Executive Committee under Disaster Management Act, 2005 has partially amended orders issued on 2nd July 2020. As per the amendment, the medical colleges would remain closed for final year students from 15th July 2020 in the State. Similarly, Medical Training Institutions would also remain closed. 

As per the amendments, the condition of quarantine for the students and accompanying parents moving in and out of State for competitive examinations has been waived off, if they exist or re-enter the State or vice-versa within 72 hours.

The State Government has also decided that any person having been tested negative for COVID-19 through RT-PCR Test (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) by an ICMR accredited/approved laboratory not earlier than 72 hours at the time of entry would also be exempted from the requirement of quarantine.

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Himachal: Institutional Quarantine Mandatory for All Persons Coming from These 20 Cities/Districts of India

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HP Govt new list of high-load cities

Shimla-The Himachal Pradesh Health Department has revised the list of cities/areas/districts having high-load of COVID-19 cases. Earlier, the government had listed 13 such regions in various states. The updated list has mentioned 20 such cities/districts. All the mentioned places come under the red zone and an institutional quarantine is mandatory from anyone travelling from these areas to Himachal Pradesh.

The updated list includes the following:

  1. Mumbai, Maharashtra,
  2. Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  3. Thane, Maharashtra
  4. Pune, Maharashtra
  5. Hyderabad, Telangana
  6. Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  7. Delhi (All districts)
  8. Bengaluru (Urban), Karnataka
  9. Palghar, Maharashtra
  10. Kolkata, West Bengal
  11. Aurangabad, Bihar
  12. Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu
  13. Surat, Gujarat
  14. Raigad, Maharashtra
  15. Gurugram, Haryana
  16. Nashik, Maharashtra
  17. Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu
  18. Ranga Reddy, Telangana
  19. Madurai, Tamil Nadu
  20. Faridabad, Haryana

So far, India has reported over 9 lakh infections, which makes it the third worst-hit country after the United States (3,363,056) and Brazil (1,884,967).

The COVID-19 death tally for India was 23,727 till yesterday, 3,11,565 patients are still under treatment, and 5,71,460 have recovered. The rate of increase in the appearance of new COVID-19 cases continues to grow.

Despite the increasing rate and number of cases, Himachal Pradesh Government has opened the State borders for tourists and other visitors without obtaining any permission or E-Pass. All that one needs to enter Himachal and roam around without any restrictions is to present a COVID-19 negative certificate not older than 72 hours and a pre-booking of hotel/homestay for a minimum period of five nights.

The decision of the government to allow tourists amid a sharp rise in cases, both in the State and India, has invited scathed criticism. Even hoteliers in Shimla, Dharamshala, Manali etc. have decided to remain closed despite the government’s permission to resume operation. The SOPs issued by the state government are not acceptable to these hoteliers.

At the same time, relaxation given to migrant labourers in quarantine rules also appears to be backfiring as a large number of such labourers have been tested positive in the industrial hub – Baddi in Solan district. Yesterday, the district reported a record 69 COVID-19 cases, of which 59 were reported from a textile factory.

  

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