Shimla: It’s been six months since the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China appeared and then threw the entire world into turmoil. However, the pandemic is not slowing down; instead, it’s speeding up, the World Health Organization said on June 29, 2020, in an official statement.
The six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths.
Many countries have implemented unprecedented measures to suppress transmission and save lives, WHO said. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.
WHO said that the critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus. That is the new normal.
Many countries have implemented unprecedented measures to suppress transmission and save lives, it said.
These measures have been successful in slowing the spread of the virus. But they have not completely stopped it, the WHO said.
Some countries are now experiencing a resurgence of cases as they start to re-open their economies and societies. Most people remain susceptible. The virus still has a lot of room to move, WHO said.
“The hard reality is: this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up, “
the WHO said.
“We will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead,”
the Organization added.
But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicization of the pandemic.
The Organization said that although a vaccine will be an important long-term tool for controlling COVID-19, there are five priorities that every single country must focus on now, to save lives now.
Every individual must understand that they are not helpless – there are things everyone should do to protect themselves and others. Your health is in your hands.
That includes physical distancing, hand hygiene, covering coughs, staying home if you feel sick, wearing masks when appropriate, and only sharing information from reliable sources.
Some people may be in a low-risk category, but the choices you make could be the difference between life and death for someone else.
Whether countries have no cases, clusters of cases or community transmission, there are steps all countries can take to suppress the spread of the virus. Ensure that health workers have access to training and personal protective equipment, the WHO said.
3. Improve Surveillance to Find Cases
The single most important intervention for breaking chains of transmission is not necessarily high-tech and can be carried out by a broad range of professionals. It’s tracing and quarantining contacts. Many countries actually have used non-health professionals to do contact tracing, it said.
4. Save Lives
The third measure is early identification and clinical care to save lives like providing oxygen and dexamethasone to people with severe and critical disease saves lives.
Special attention would have to be given to high-risk groups, including elderly people in long-term care facilities.
“Japan has done this: it has one of the highest populations of elderly people, but its death rate is low, and the reason is what we just said – many countries can do that, they can save lives,”
5. Accelerate Research
The WHO said that it had already learned a lot about this virus, but there’s still a lot we don’t know and there are still tools that it needs.
The WHO said that national unity and global solidarity are essential to implementing a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission, save lives and minimize the social and economic impact of the virus.
No matter what stage a country is at, these five priorities – if acted on consistently and coherently – can turn the tide, the WHO said.
Himachal: COVID-19 Claims 13 Lives as State Reports Over 900 Cases in 24 Hours
Shimla- COVID-19 claimed 13 more lives in Himachal Pradesh as the state recorded 925 new cases in 24 hours. According to the latest update released by the State health department, Kangra district reported the highest 178 cases, followed by Solan (143), Mandi (114), and Shimla (104).
As a matter of concern, 48 students of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya School, Sarol, in Chamba district also tested positive, creating a stir in the region. Samples of the staff were also taken following it. The school was declared as a containment zone.
Find more district-wise details of daily cases below:
Kangra district also reported the highest six COVID-19 deaths, followed by Shimla (3), Mandi (2), and Una (2). The deceased were aged between 42 – 84 years and included eight females and five males. Find the details of the deceased below:
The case and death tallies in the state have now jumped to 72,319 and 1135 respectively.
While speaking to the media today, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur admitted that the surge in cases is rising across the nation, but maintained that there were no plans to impose a lockdown in the state so far.
The state government, however, today decided to postpone the ongoing examinations for undergraduate classes and 10 and 12 classes of the HP Board of School Education.
Himachal: Daily New COVID-19 Cases Crosses 1000 Mark, State Govt Directs Admins & Police to Show Strictness in Implementing SOPs
Shimla– Reeling under the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Himachal Pradesh continues to report a huge surge in daily new cases and fatalities. On Monday, the state recorded 1089 cases – the highest in 24 hours this year. Nine more people succumbed to the infection, taking the COVID-19 death tally to 1111. Highest three deaths were reported from Una district, followed by Mandi (3). View more details on fatalities below:
Kangra district reported the highest 249 cases, followed by Solan (166), and Lahaul-Spiti (114). Find more district-wise details below:
Today’s cases also include former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh, who tested positive. Earlier, his son Vikramaditya had also tested positive for COVID-19. Pertinent to mention that Vikramaditya Singh had campaigned in the Municipal Corporation elections that were concluded on April 7.
Further, 18 cases were reported from Pine Grove School, Solan.
The state government, which had been mostly showing a casual approach towards the surge since the beginning of the second wave of the pandemic, is now coming hard on it in its review meetings.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is now asking elected representatives of the local bodies to ensure that the people strictly follow the SoPs regarding temples and marriages. The PRI members are being directed to motivate and advise the old people, those with co-morbidity to avoid going to public places as they are most prone to this virus.
“Such persons must be reverse quarantined meaning that their movement outside their houses should be minimized to the extent possible,” Chief Minister today said.
Yesterday the state government had made it mandatory for people arriving from seven high load states to carry RT-PCR negative report. The decision would apply from April 16 onwards, the government had decided. However, he had added, that the state would remain open for tourists.
Chief Minister has asked the representatives of the PRI to keep an eye on the people visiting from other State, particularly from the high load states.
“As far as possible such people must be asked to remain in home quarantine for 10 to 14 days and getting themselves tested for COVID-19 and should not mix with the general public of the area,” he said.
The Transport Department was directed to ensure the sanitization of buses and other public transport. Shopkeepers were told to strictly follow the ‘No Mask, No Service’ policy. Private bus operators were also asked to properly sanitize their buses and also ensure plying buses without overcrowding.
District administrations were asked to ensure that social functions such as marriages etc. strictly follow the maximum limit prescribed for such events.
Chief Minister said that action if required could be taken against the violators.
The District administration of Kullu district was directed to ensure that all the tourists visiting the district strictly follow SoPs issued from time to time. He told the administration that all the guidelines need to be followed and implemented strictly.
He said that the Ayurveda Department must also provide ‘kada’ to the patients under home isolation. The Police Department was directed to ensure that no casualness be adopted by the tourists, particularly in tourist spots such as Manikaran, Kasol, Manali etc.
Deputy Commissioner Mandi Rugved Thakur, informed that 1,33,878 total sample done in the district, active cases were 443 and positivity ratio was 8.25 percent and fatality rate 1.2 percent. He said that 51 per cent cases in the district were from urban areas.
HP Govt Makes RT-PCR Negative Report Mandatory for People Arriving from Seven States
Shimla-Tourist movement to Himachal Pradesh is likely to get hit during the peak season as the state government has made it mandatory for people of seven high load states viz. Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh need to carry 72-hour prior RT-PCR negative report while visiting the State. The restriction would apply after April 16th.
The decision came after Chief Minister Jairam Thakur, who had been insisting that there would be no restriction on tourist movement to avert economic losses to the tourism industry, held a review meeting amid a massive surge in new cases and deaths.
The state government has decided to allow tourists to visit the State, but at the same time, hotel owners and tourists should strictly adhere to the SoPs, Chief Minister said.
“The virus was spreading at a fast pace which was the biggest concern. During the last 45 days, the State has reported 10,690 new covid cases. 120 deaths were reported in the State during the last 45 days,” he said.
Over 900 new cases with 12 fatalities were reported on Saturday only. On Sunday, according to the Health Department’s daily update, the state recorded 512 new cases.
Pertinent to mention that Maharastra, Delhi and a few other states had been suggesting that a complete lockdown could be imposed if the high rate of resurgence continued in the coming days.
Though the Chief Minister had been maintaining that lockdown would be the last resort, the tone appears to be changing with the worsening of the COVID-19 situation.
Further, laying stress on twin strategy for testing, tracing and treatment with effective surveillance of micro containment zones, Chief Minister said that greater emphasis must also be laid on RT-PCR tests to achieve the target of 70 percent RT-PCR tests.
He said that the State Health Department must also take steps to increase bed capacity to meet out any eventuality.
Meanwhile, no restriction has been put on the devotees visiting various temples in the State during the Navratri festival.
The government said no overcrowding would be allowed in buses and other public transport and private vehicles. Wearing face masks even in vehicles must be enforced strictly.
Chief Minister, who faced widespread criticism over violation of SOPs during the political campaigning for elections to the Municipal Corporations, blamed laxity shown by the people for a sharp resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the State.
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