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Community Spread Haunts Solan, Sirmaur, Cases in Shimla Also on The Rise

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Himachal pradesh - solan and Sirmaur covid-19 cases

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh reported 33 new cases of COVID-19 infection on Tuesday from Sirmaur (13), Solan (7), Kangra (7), Shimla (3), Hamirpur (2), and Kullu (1). Yesterday, a 75-year-old woman who was suffering from chronic-kidney disease died at the Nerchowk COVID hospital, taking the official COVID-19 death toll to 10.

Today, according to the Health Department’s latest update (12 PM), 17 more persons tested positive in Chamba (4), Mandi (3), Una (3)and Sirmaur (7) districts, taking the state’s COVID-19 tally to 1681. Of these total cases, 577 are active and 1077 have recovered.

Community spread haunts Solan (381) and Sirmaur (130) districts as more cases continue to appear. In Solan, the industrial belt is the worst-hit. Seven more workers of Sara Textile in Nalagarh tested positive on Tuesday. Officials of the district administration and the Health Department are concerned about the situation and are trying to prevent a community spread. But the government maintains that the spike in cases is merely due to entry of migrant laborers and returnees from other states.

HP Health Department COVID-19 Bulletin July 22 (12 PM)

Himachal pradesh community spread in sirmaur and solan

Sirmaur district reported 12 cases on Tuesday of which 10 persons belonged to Govindgarh (Mohalla) locality. This morning seven more reported to have tested positive in Sirmaur including five from Govindgarh that has become a hot-spot now. The locality alone has reported 75 cases within the last seven days. People in Nahan are also in a state of panic with this explosion in COVID-19 cases.

The district administrations in Solan and Sirmaur are compelled to review the availability of beds and medical facilities.

A BJP Leader in Mandi and a Staff Member at Chief Minister’s Office Test Positive

Today, a local leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in Mandi district and a staff member at the Chief Minister’s office tested positive. The staff member who tested positive is said to be a Deputy Secretary to the Chief Minister. Following the appearance of this case, the Chief Minister has been quarantined and samples of several other staff members and officials at the state secretariat would be taken for testing. Not much detail is available regarding the contact and travel history as of yet, there are speculations that BJP leader from Mandi had been meeting other leaders of the party regularly. The Deputy Secretary is said to have met the same leader recently. 

The four cases reported in Chamba this morning includes an army jawan and a policeman.

Further, a stir can be witnessed in Shimla district as more cases continue to appear. The total for Shimla district has risen to 97 and is inching towards the 100 mark.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) RD Dhiman has attributed the rise in the number of cases to the entry of migrant labourers to the state. Defending the state government’s decision to open the state for all including tourists, Dhiman said that no cases have been reported among tourists so far.  On Wednesday, Dhiman claimed that the spread of coronavirus is under control in the state. He also claimed that there is no threat of community spread and the state is doing much better than other states. The spike in the cases was temporary he had told media. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in India is also rising fast with over 1.1 million people already infected and over 28,000 thousand dead. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that by the end of next year, India will have the worst outbreak in the world.

Misc News/Press Release

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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