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Six-Hour Relaxation in Curfew in Himachal Daily, No Vehicles Allowed, Liquor Vends to Remain Open

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Curfew Relaxation in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh where curfew is in effect to check the spread of coronavirus, the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has announced a six-hour window of relaxation.  The relaxation in curfew will be given from 7 AM to 1 PM daily throughout the State.

He said the relaxation is given to avoid inconvenience to the people in getting essential commodities.

Liquor vends would also remain open during the relaxation period of curfew in the State. Only one person of a family should be allowed during the relaxation period of curfew for taking essential commodities.  

 He urged the people to come out of their homes only in an emergent situation and to maintain proper social distancing between person to person during the relaxation period. He said that the relaxation in this curfew is only for facilitating the people to purchase daily needs items and not for commuting from one place to other places un-necessarily.

Jai Ram Thakur said that state government has decided to extend the closure of all the offices of the state government up to 31 March 2020 except those notified by the state government as essential services.

 He urged the employees to remain indoors and follow all the social distancing guidelines as prescribed from time to time and not to leave the station as they could be called for duty in the short notice any time.

Fertilizers would also be made available to the farmers and horticulturists during of period of relaxation in curfew, the Chief Minister said. The helplines 104 and 1077 have also been activated for the facility of the people of the State, he added.

Jai Ram Thakur urged the people of the State to purchase the essential commodities from the shops nearer to their homes by maintaining appropriate social distancing as it is the proper way to break the chain of coronavirus.  

Jai Ram Thakur said that telecommunication services would be maintained in the State. He said that leniency must be adopted to ensure the movement of staff of telecom companies as they require movement for repair and maintenance of telecom towers.

He directed the DC’s of Solan, Kangra and Sirmaur districts in particular to ensure that production in Pharma industries preparing several lifesaving drugs are not affected.  

He also asked them to make adequate arrangements of food and shelter to the vulnerable sections of the society.  He said that such people should be provided food and shelter for which school buildings could also be utilized. He said that care should also be taken of tourists stranded in the State as they would carry good memories of the administration once the situation becomes normal.  

He also directed the DC’s to explore the possibility of home delivery to the people by major departmental stores in urban areas which would go a long way in maintaining social distancing.

Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi said that urban sanitation must not be ignored and adequate arrangements are made to provide safety equipments to the sanitary workers so that they are not exposed to infections. He said that representatives of urban local bodies and PRIs must be involved for better coordination and sensitizing the people regarding social distancing.

Jai Ram Thakur said that as many as 2257 people have been kept under surveillance out of which 636 have completed 28 days of surveillance period. The investigations of 34 persons for COVID-19 have been done today and all were found negative.  He said that 133 persons have so far been investigated in the State for coronavirus.

Further, he said that state government has decided to take the matter with the governments of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to supply more pulses at the earliest to ensure that there is no scarcity of pulses in the State.

He was presiding over the video conference with all the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the state from Shimla today to take stock of the situation in wake of curfew in the State due to outbreak of Corona epidemic.

 

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CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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