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Resurgence of COVID-19 Spread Worries Himachal Amid Fear of ‘Second Wave’ in Country

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Shimla-COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh is again on the rise after a short span of relief. For the last couple of months, the number of daily COVID-19 cases had fallen to well below 50 and was recorded to be as low as 20 on some days. The daily number has gone beyond 100 with the detection of 167 new cases yesterday.

This year, from January 1 to February 28, the state reported 3368 cases with 60 fatalities. In March, according to the latest update received on March 17, 2021, the death toll had reached 998 with 16 new fatalities during the last 17 days. In March, so far the state has reported 1391 cases.

Now, the sudden spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in a few states of the country has again left the government and the people worried over resurgence. Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have reported a surge in the COVID daily cases, followed by the restriction on social gathering and enforcements of lockdowns.  

“This time, the cases are rising in many areas and districts, which were unaffected so far. In a way, they were safe zones, but now fresh cases are emerging. This increase is more than 150 per cent in 70 districts of the country in the last few weeks. If we don’t stop the pandemic in its tracks, the situation can lead to a country-wide outbreak. We must immediately stop this emerging “second peak” of the corona. We will have to take quick and decisive steps, the Prime Minister said yesterday while interacting with Chief Ministers of states. 

Health experts are suggesting the need to scale up RTPCR tests.

Recently, the Centre had rushed high-level Public Health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab in view of a recent spike in cases in these States. 

Till March 12, India’s total Active Caseload had reached 1,97,237. India’s present active caseload stood at 1.74% of India’s total Positive Cases.

The Centre is now asking the states to take measures in addition to the basic steps to prevent the spread of this infection, like wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, taking care of cleanliness etc.

While interacting with media Chief Minister Jairam Thakur yesterday said that the Prime Minister has asked all the States to ensure strict implementation of various SOPs issued from time to time by the Government of India.

Further, the organization of fairs and festivals is posing a huge challenge for the government in checking the resurgence of spread. Himachal Pradesh Government yesterday expressed concern over pilgrims visiting the state. The government said it would request the Punjab Chief Minister to keep a tab on pilgrims visiting Himachal Pradesh from Punjab to check the spread of the virus. Further, the state government said that SOPs would be strictly followed during the celebration of fairs and other events.

On the ground level, however, the public has loosened their defences against the spread as the number fell drastically during the last two months. Wearing face masks and following social distancing are hardly being taken seriously.

At the same time, people who are keeping a tab on the current situation are worried about more lockdowns or restrictions in future. The first industry to get hit would be the tourism sector, which is trying to recover from the blow it received last year in lockdowns.

COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in Himachal Pradesh

The state government yesterday informed that over 1.78 lakh people had been administered vaccination in the State, which was about 2.60 percent of the total population.

Secretary Health Government of India Rajesh Bhushan said that the death rate of the country due to the virus was amongst the lowest in the world. He said that about 3.51 crore people have been administered the Covid-19 vaccine in the country till date.

A total of 3,64,67,744vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report till 7pm yesterday. Further, more than 23 crore COVID tests has been conducted across the country according to the latest update available. 

These include 75,47,958 HCWs who have taken the 1st dose and 4608397 HCWs who have taken the 2nd dose, 76,63,647 FLWs (1stdose), 17,86,812FLWs (2nd dose), 1,24,74,362beneficiaries more than 60 years old and 23,86,568beneficiaries aged 45 and above with specific co-morbidities.

He said that India was second after the United States in the number of people administered the vaccine. 

 

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HP Bypolls 2021 Schedule Issued, Model Code of Conduct Comes Into Force in State

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Shimla-The Schedule for by-elections to Parliamentary Constituency and three Legislative Assembly Constituencies of Himachal Pradesh has been issued by the Indian Election Commission. With the announcement of this schedule, the Model Code of Conduct has come into effect in eight districts of Himachal Pradesh.  As per the schedule, the entire process of elections would be completed by November 5, 2021.

The schedule would remain the same for bypolls to Parliamentary Constituency and three Legislative Constituencies.

These include Mandi Parliamentary Constituency, which got vacant after MP Ram Swaroop Sharma reportedly committed suicide and three Legislative Assembly Constituencies – Fatehpur (08), Jubbal Kotkhai (65), and Arki (50).

HP Bypolls 2021 Schedule

  1. Notification – October 1, 2021
  2. Last Date of Nominations -October 8, 2021
  3. Date for Scrutiny of Nominations – October 11, 2021 
  4. Last Date for Withdrawal of candidatures -October 13, 2021
  5. Date of Poll -October 30, 2021
  6. Date of Counting – November 2, 2021 

The entire process for the elections would be completed by November 5, 2021.

The Commission said it has reviewed the situations related to the pandemic, flood, festivals, cold conditions in certain regions, feedback from concerned States/UT and taken into consideration all facts and circumstances before announcing the schedule for bypolls.

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Art & Culture

Kullu Dussehra 2021: All Religious Ceremonies to be Allowed, But No Commercial and Cultural Events

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Shimla-The International Kullu Dussehra would be organised from 15th October to 21st October, 2021, the Himachal Pradesh Government informed today after holding a meeting regarding the same.

The HP Government has decided that all deities would be invited for the Dussehra festival. Orgnaization of all religious ceremonies would be allowed traditionally, but the cultural and commercial activities would not be held.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur presided over meeting of State Level Kullu Dussehra Committee. Directions were given to ensure proper security system, uninterrupted electricity supply and adherence of Covid-19 guidelines.

It was also decided in the meeting that Language, Art and Culture Department would provide an additional amount of Rs. 10 lakh to district administration Kullu for organising Kullu Dussehra festival.

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HP Cabinet Decisions Sept 24: Approval to Open Schools from 27 Sept,  Fill 8,000 Posts, Changes in Transfer Policy of JBT, C, and V Teachers

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HP Cabinet Decisions september 24, 2021

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet, in a meeting held today, has decided to open schools from September 27 for the students of 9th to 12th classes. The students of class 10th and 12th would attend schools on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, whereas students of class 9th and 11th would attend schools on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a week. Online classes and examinations will continue for classes upto 8th standard.  

Further, the HP Cabinet also decided to create and fill up 8000 posts of Multi-Task Workers in the educational institutions under the Higher and Elementary Departments as per the provisions of the Part-Time Multi-Task Workers Policy 2020. As per the policy, these Multi-Task Workers would be provided with a consolidated honorarium of Rs. 5625 per month for 10 months in one academic year.

The Cabinet decided to amend the transfer policy for inter-district transfer of JBT and C and V teachers in the State by reducing the existing tenure from 13 years to five years, including the contract period, for transfer to another district and also increase the quota from existing 3% to 5%.

It also decided to enhance the honorarium of IT teachers outsourced in various educational institutions in the State by Rs. 500 per month from April 1st, 2021.

It also gave its approval for renaming Forest Training Institute and Rangers College Sundernagar as Himachal Pradesh Forest Academy.

The HP Cabinet gave its consent to draft a proposal for the Customised Package of Incentives for Mega Industrial Projects in the State under Himachal Pradesh Industrial Investment Policy and Rules -2019.

It gave its approval for filling up 20 posts of Naib Tehsildar in the Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis.

It also gave its approval to the policy of replacement/maintenance of damaged crash barriers in the State.

It also decided to rename Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna as Mukhyamantri Grihini Suvidha Yojna.

It also decided to rename Himachal Health Care Yojna- Himcare as Mukhyamantri Himachal Health Care Yojna-Himcare.

The Cabinet gave its nod to rename Sahara Yojna as Mukhyamantri Sahara Yojna.

The Cabinet gave its consent to create and fill up 10 posts of different categories in Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, Hamirpur for its smooth functioning.

The Cabinet decided to upgrade Primary Health Centre Swarghat in Bilaspur district to Community Health Centre along with the creation of requisite posts.

It also decided to upgrade Primary Health Centre Gadsa in Banjar area of Kullu district to Community Health Centre along with creation of requisite posts to man this health institution. 

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