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40 New Cases in Himachal, Stir in Shimla City After Indian Coffee House and Bolieauganj Market Sealed

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Boileauganj Sealed

Shimla-The city in State capital Shimla that remained unaffected from COVID-19 has now begun to report more cases with the advent of labourers/workers who arrived from other States to work in the apple orchards and apple dealers.  On Thursday, the district reported one case, while eight cases were reported on Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, one person who had returned from Jammu & Kashmir recently and was staying near a mosque in the Boileauganj market tested positive. Following it, four more who had come in contact with the positive person also tested positive on Saturday. Following the appearance of these cases, the Boileauganj Market (from Jagat Sweet to Gopal Mandir) was sealed and all traffic was diverted through alternative routes.

The Indian Coffee House located on Shimla Mall was reportedly sealed on Saturday after an employee, who had returned to Shimla from a red zone of Delhi without any pass or testing, reached directly at the House and joined his duty back. On receiving information regarding it, the employee was quarantined and a case was filed against him. He was yet to be tested. The Deputy Commissioner of Shimla Amit Kashyap confirmed the report. The Coffee House was sealed and would be sanitized. If this person turns out to be COVID-19 positive, then it could create trouble for the administration as well as the entire Shimla market.

The appearance of cases in Boileauganj and the news of the Coffee house being sealed have caused a panic in the city where people were carefree earlier.

On Saturday, according to the COVID-19 Bulletin (9 PM) released by the State Health Department, 40 new cases were reported from Solan (16) Kullu (1), Shimla (2), Mandi (1), Sirmaur (5), Hamirpur (1). With these new cases, the COVID-19 tally rose to 1457. Of this total, 401 are active cases while 1030 patients have recovered, and nine have died.

On Friday, the State had reported 44 cases including 10 cases from Sirmaur district where these people were infected after coming into the contact of a COVID-19 pregnant woman in a marriage. Sirmaur District Magistrate RK Pruthi informed that Nahan has been sealed and curfew has been imposed till 7 am on July 21.

According to the data provided by the Health Department, so far Kangra has reported highest 329 cases, followed by Solan (306), Hamirpur (279), Una (158), Chamba (78), Shimla (71), Bilaspur (63), Sirmaur (63), Mandi (47), Kinnaur (39), Kullu (20), and Lahaul-Spiti (4).

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin for July 18 (9 PM)

shimla city corona cases

A total of 113129 persons have been tested for COVID-19 in the State so far.

Meanwhile, the State Government has again landed in controversy after it allowed some tourists to stay at the Circuit House in Shimla, which was reserved only for corona-warriors like health staff. Reportedly, four people with their driver reached Shimla to see Chief Minister Jairam Thakur. All four carried COVID-19 negative report except the driver, who later tested positive. The State High Court has issued a notice the State Government seeking a reply.

The notice was issued by a division bench, comprising chief justice L Narayana Swamy and justice Anoop Chitkara, issued while hearing a petition.

Moreover, a question is being raised as to how the driver was allowed to enter the State when he had no COVID-19 negative report. It’s pertinent to mention that Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has already been in controversy for his poor decision making, like the relaxation given in quarantine rules to migrant labourers and opening State borders to tourists in a time when the State is witnessing a sharp increase in corona cases. The Government has also been facing criticism over tweaking rules every other day.

Further, the Chief Minister and workers of the State BJP Mahila Morcha were seen violating social distancing norms at a ‘havan’ organized at Shimla on Thursday. The ‘havan’ was reportedly organized to protect the State from corona outbreak and for world peace. Not just the Chief Minister, but Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Urban Development Minister Sarveen Chaudhary, Organizing Secretary Pawan Rana, General Secretary State BJP and Political Advisor to CM Trilok Jamwal were also there. 

Earlier, Indian National Congress, HP, had violated the social distancing norms while staging a protest outside the State Secretariat in Chhota Shimla.

Also, the provision of home-quarantine for migrant labourers entering the State has turned out to be a failure. After an explosion in corona cases in BBN area – the industrial belt of the State- the Government has now given the responsibility for arranging quarantine facility for migrant labourers to contractors and industries.

Reports also suggested that in Solan district, the Government has already begun to face a shortage of health facilities to accommodate patients.

Misc News/Press Release

Himachal: 80% Voter Turnout in 2nd Phase of Panchayat Polls

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Second phase of Panchayat elections in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Election Commission informed that the elections for 1208 Gram Panchayats were held today in the second phase in which around 80 percent polling was registered.

Overall, 75 COVID-19 patients and persons in isolation cast their votes as per the standard operating procedures.

The highest polling has been registered in Nandpur Gram Panchayat of Nalagarh developmental block of Solan district where the voter turnout was reported to be 96 percent.

The poll was held peacefully and there was no report of any untoward incident in the state. The counting of votes for Pradhan, Up-Pradhan and members was under the process and the results were awaited till late evening. The counting of votes for Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti will be held on 22 January 2021 at block headquarters.

Election-related process and results have been uploaded for the general public on sechimachal.nic.in.

The election for third and final phase for 1137 Panchayats would be held on 21 January 2021.

The first phase of elections to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Himachal Pradesh was held in 1228 Gram Panchayats on January 17, 2021. The overall polling percentage in the first phase was reported to 77.50%.

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Bird Flu Confirmed in Dead Poultry Dumped Near Himachal Borders, Ban on Poultry Products Extended   

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Himachal Pradesh Extends Ban on poultry

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government has temporarily extended the ban on entry of poultry and poultry products into the State from neighbouring states for one more week. A notification to this regard was issued on January 18, 2021.

 The Government said that during the past few days, there had been incidences of dumping of dead poultry in the border areas of the State. Samples were collected from these dead birds, and disposed of the remaining birds as per protocol, it said. NIHSAD Lab, Bhopal, has confirmed Avian Influenza-H5N8 in the dumped birds.

Hundreds of dead poultry birds were found dumped along the Parwanoo-Solan stretch on the National Highway. The police was yet to identify culprits responsible.

However, the State Government said that the Flu has not been detected in the local poultry.

The State Government said that a “Bird Flu” outbreak was notified on January 6, 2021, in Pong Dam wetland of district Kangra. The count for migratory bird death due to the Flu had mounted to 4936 till January 18, 2021. On January 17, only 21 migratory birds died in the Pong Dam wetland area.

The State Government said a sharp decline was reported in death of migratory birds due to avian influenza outbreak in the Pong dam lake wildlife sanctuary.

Ten Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) of Wildlife Wing would continue to work in the wetland for collection and safe disposal of dead birds as per protocol till no mortality is recorded. 

Till January 18, 2021 outbreaks of Avian Influenza have been confirmed in 5 States for poultry birds and in 9 States for crows, migratory and wild bird.

Culling of poultry birds had to be taken in all the affected epicentres including CPDO, Mumbai. Culling operation of poultry in Haryana was also underway. The outbreak has is causing losses worth crores to poultry farmers. 

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447 Cases of Adverse Effect Including 3 in Himachal Reported Post COVID-19 Vaccination

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COVID-19-vaccination-adverse effect in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Amid skepticism over the COVID-19 vaccination, India has reported over 400 cases of adverse effect post-vaccination, informed the Ministry of Health. To be more specific, a total of 447 Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFIs) were reported on 16th Jan & 17th Jan’21.

Out of these, three required hospitalization. Of these, one was discharged from Northern Railway Hospital Delhi within 24 hours; one was discharged from AIIMS Delhi, and one is under observation in AIIMS Rishikesh and is being monitored.

Most of the AEFIs reported so far are minor like Fever, Headache, Nausea etc.

In Himachal Pradesh, about three cases of AEFIs were reported on day 1 of vaccination drive. These were reported from Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Tanda, Kangra, Civil Hospital Paonta Sahib, and Maharishi Markandeshwar University Medical College, Solan.

In these cases, symptoms reported included dizziness, anxiety, nausea and shivering and persons recovered after management as per protocol, it was informed.

In Himachal, 2,499 health care workers were to be administered dose through 27 identified sites in the State on January 16. However, only 1535 healthcare workers could be vaccinated on the first day. It was 61 percent of this set target. The second round would be held today.  

Two types of COVID-19 vaccines have been supplied for the vaccination drive. These include Covishield vaccine (made by Serum Institute of India Ltd) that has been supplied to all States/UTs.

The second is Covaxin vaccine (made by Bharat Biotech International Ltd) that has been supplied to 12 States.

An Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) is any unexpected medical occurrence which follows immunization. It may not be related to the vaccine or vaccination process. The Ministry had laid down protocols for reporting, immediate case management at vaccination session site, transportation and hospitalization and further care of such cases. Protocols are also in place for systematic investigation and causality assessment of serious AEFIs, the Ministry said.

India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 vaccination program, the world’s largest such exercise.

Total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till today as per the provisional report.

The second day of the massive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was also conducted successfully. A total of 553 sessions were held in six States. As many as 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated on Day2, as per the provisional reports.

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