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Himachal: Six COVID-19 Deaths in 24 Hours, New Strain More Lethal & Acute, say Health Officials   

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Himachal Pradesh Daily COVId-19 report

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh reported six COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, which is the highest this year in a day. The death tally has now jumped to 1032 in the state. Una reported three fatalities, while other three were reported from Kangra, Hamirpur, and Solan. Five of the deceased aged between 70-82 years and remaining one was only 36. View details of COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours below:

Himachal PRadesh daily covid-19 deaths update

According to the COVID-19 statistics released by the State Health Department, a total of 339 new cases were recorded today, taking the tally to 63,320 in the state.

 Kangra reported highest 90 cases, followed by Una at 84. The number of recorded cases in Shimla remained relatively low at 23. View more district-wise details below:

Himachal Pradesh daily COVID-19 update

Source: HP National Health Mission

According to the official statistics, a total of 1253169 persons have been tested for COVID-19 in Himachal Pradesh till March 30, 2021.

The fatality ratio goes with the statements given by the Chief Minister and  Chief Medical Officer, Kangra, today, in which they admitted that the second wave is more lethal than the first one.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur today said that “this time the virus had come back with more strength, energy and was more fatal.” 

The new strain was not domiciled in our nasopharyngeal region and had been directly affecting the lungs, which means window periods were shortened. 

The health experts have observed that after the advent of new variants of Corona, there were no traces of cough or fever and the patients were just complaining of joint pains, weakness and loss of appetite and COVID-19 pneumonia.

“It was taking less time to get to the extreme in comparison to the past and sometimes, there were no symptoms even,” the Chief Minister said.

Earlier, Chief Medical Officer, Kangra Dr Gurudarshan Gupta, said that after the new strain of the virus hit the country, several patients were being seen without fever, but an x-ray report showed moderate chest pneumonia.

“It means that the virus spreads directly to the lungs causing acute respiratory distress due to viral pneumonia,” Gupta said.

“It simply explains why the new strain has become acute and more fatal. The new wave is more lethal than the first one and we should play safe by adopting the right health practices to beat this new unwanted guest,” he said.

The statements came during a review meeting held at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda, in district Kangra.

“Therefore it was better to be careful than remaining unguarded and putting ourselves, family and the society in danger,” the Chief Minister said.

Jairam Thakur without mask

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur during a political rally in poll-bound Dharamshala (MC)

However,  the Chief Minister is facing criticism over not following these norms at public gatherings at the political rallies in poll-bound Municipal Corporations. He is advising people to practice social distancing and wearing mask, but, in political rallies, party workers and even the Chief Minister can be seen violating these norms.

people not wearing mask in political rallies in himachal pradesh

Chief Minister Jairam Thakur adressing a political gathering in poll-bound Dharamshala (MC)

“No person should be allowed to walk without wearing a mask in public places. Shopkeepers should not allow people to enter their outlets without masks and proper hygiene habits should be practised to keep this virus at bay, “ he said during the meeting.

While no social distancing is visible in political gatherings and during canvassing, Chief Minister is urging people to follow COVID-19 norms.

“Without maintaining social distancing it was difficult to beat Corona. All the safety mantras given by the health authorities should be practised in the spirit,” he preached.

“Due to the negligence of the people, the number of new cases had been increasing daily putting the society in peril at large,” he said blaming the people for the surge in cases.

The Chief Minister asked the health department to encourage the people to take a jab at the high time so that they were less affected by this fatal virus.

Similarly, opposition MLAs and party workers were also seen violating COVID-19 norms.

आज हमारे निवास हॉली लॉज शिमला में “जाखू वार्ड” से सभी कांग्रेस जन से मुलाक़ात की , व इस वार्ड के विभिन विकास के लम्बित…

Posted by Vikramaditya Singh on Sunday, 28 March 2021

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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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Kinnaur Landslide: 14 Bodies Recovered in 30 Hours, Several Still Missing

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Kinnaur landslide rescue operation photos

Kinnaur: Landslide in Kinnaur district is unfolding as one of the biggest catastrophe in Himachal Pradesh as the of fatality count continues to rise. After 30 hours of the rescue operation, which was hampered multiple times due to shooting stones at the site, 14 dead bodies had been recovered till the suspension of the operation on Thursday evening. While 10 bodies were recovered on Wednesday, four more were exhumed from the rubble on Thursday.

As many as 15 persons were rescued and taken to Bhavanagar CHC for treatment.

The wreckage of the HP Road Transport Corporation bus was found scattered about 500 meters below the National Highway-5 in Nigulsari – the site of the massive landslide. The condition of the wreckage suggested there was little hope of survival of any passenger. The distraught relatives of the missing persons remained at the site, grieving with diminishing hope to see their family members alive as the rescue operation for today was suspended.

Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

HRTC Bus Wreckage

The state of exhumed bodies added to the horror of the families, as well as, the rescuers. Some of the bodies were in such a state that their identification was next to impossible. While some bodies had their limbs cut off, one of them was found without the head.

As the rescue operation would be entering its third day on Friday, the death toll is likely to rise as the driver of the bus, who had survived the accident and was seriously injured, had estimated that 25-30 passengers were onboard when the landslide pushed it down the NH.

Further, there is still no sign of one vehicle (Bolero SUV), informed Director, State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta. The exact number of people feared to be buried under the rubble was yet to be ascertained. According to the district administration, based on calls received from families, the number of missing people could be anywhere between 30-50.

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

Meanwhile, some family members of the missing persons complained that while the rescue operation was initiated immediately from the Negulsari side, JCB machines took over five hours to reach the spot from the Chauri side. They complained that such a big delay was crucial and could have saved more lives.

It’s pertinent to mention that the HRTC bus had remained untraceable on Wednesday and the wreckage was found on the second day of the rescue operation. However, most passengers were yet to be traced.  

According to the Deputy Commandant, ITBP, Dharmender Thakur, shooting stones and sliding rubble posed a huge challenge for the rescue teams, which comprised of hundreds of personnel of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, local police, and CISF. Undertaking this operation on a steep slope further created difficult circumstances for the teams. The lives of the rescuers were also at risk as the site remained vulnerable to reactivation of landslide.

This landslide in the Kinnaur district has become a matter of debate for geologists, environmentalists, seismologists and climatologists. Unscientific cutting of fragile mountains and blasting for the widening of roads and construction of tunnels for hydropower projects, changing patterns of rains, and seismic activity are being referred to be the reasons behind the increased incidents of landslides, especially in Kinnaur district.

At the same time, the inability of the state government to consider technical suggestions given by geological experts from time to time for mitigation of such hazards is also finding mention in the critical comments given by experts. The lackadaisical attitude of the government in the adoption of technologies, such as the early warning system developed by the IIT Mandi for mountainous regions vulnerable to landslides, is also attracting criticism.

It’s pertinent to mention that after the Kotrupi disaster – a massive landslide that had buried two buses and claimed 48 lives in August 2017-experts from IIT Mandi had carried out surveys and studies and provided several suggestions for minimizing damages, which fell into deaf ears.  

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Rohit Kumar
  2. Vanshuka
  3. Meera Devi
  4. Nitisha
  5. Prem Kumar
  6. Gyan Dassi
  7. Devi Chand
  8. Kumari Radhika
  9. Bhupender
  10. Kamlesh Kumar
  11. Lakshman Thapa
  12. Vijay Kumar

Two others were yet to be identified. The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5o thousand to the injured. HRTC has also announced Rs. 1 lakh ex-gratia to the passengers of the bus killed in the mishap. 

Further, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and several other political leader visited the spot and met the relatives of victims on Thursday. 

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Kinnaur Tragedy: HRTC Bus Wreckage Found, Death Toll Rises to 13 and Likely Rise

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Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

Kinnaur-The rescue operation at the site of the landslide in Nigulsari, Nichar Tehsil of the Kinnaur district, was resumed on Thursday morning. The wreckage of the ill-fated bus of the HP Road Transport Corporation was found 500 meters below the road and about 200 meters above the Sutlej River. The pictures showed that the bus was completely crushed and torn to pieces. 

So far, 13 dead bodies had been recovered and 14 injured including the driver and the conductor of the HRTC bus, which was on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar, were rescued and taken to hospital. The death toll is likely to rise as the passengers were yet to be traced. According to the driver, there were 25-30 passengers in the bus when it was hit by the landslide. A Bolero SUV alongwith passengers was also missing and was yet to be traced.  

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

The mishap occurred at about 12:30 pm on Wednesday. The rescue operation was suspended at 9 pm due to dark conditions and shooting stones, which made the rescue operation difficult.

Till the suspension of the operation, the rescue teams comprising of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, Central Industrial Security Force, and local police had traced three cars and a tipper.  

The rescue teams were searching from two directions and were using drones too.   

Kinnaur tragedy drone picture

The landslide had hit about 200 meters patch of the National Highway-5 – about 10 kilometres away from Bhavanagar.

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