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Black Fungus in Himachal Declared as an Epidemic, New Regulations Come into Force

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Himachal Pradesh Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations 2021

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government has notified “Himachal Pradesh Epidemic Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations 2021” to declared Mucormycosis or Black Fungus as an epidemic for one year. The regulations would come into force at once, the notification said. 

The HP Government said that the neighbouring states of Himachal are threatened with the outbreak of dangerous epidemic disease – Mucormycosis. The disease has been reported among immune-compromised patients, especially COVID-19 patients being treated with steroids.  

What is Mucormycosis or Black Fungus 

According to the Centres  for Disease Control and Prevention, Mucormycosis (previously called zygomycosis) is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment. Mucormycosis mainly affects people who have health problems or take medicines that lower the body’s ability to fight germs and sickness. It most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air. It can also occur on the skin after a cut, burn, or other type of skin injury.

Symptoms of Mucormycosis 

MOHFW is separately issuing advisories to Healthcare Workers and Vaccine Beneficiaries to encourage people to be aware of suspected thromboembolic symptoms occurring within 20 days after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine (particularly Covishield) and report preferably to the health facility where vaccine was administered:

  • breathlessness;
  • pain in chest;
  • pain in limbs/pain on pressing limbs or swelling in limbs (arm or calf);
  • multiple, pinhead size red spots or bruising of skin in an area beyond the injection site;
  • persistent abdominal pain with or without vomiting;
  • seizures in the absence of previous history of seizures with or without vomiting;
  • severe and persistent headache with or without vomiting (in the absence of previous history of migraine or chronic headache);
  • weakness/paralysis of limbs or any particular side or part of the body (including face);
  • persistent vomiting without any obvious reason;
  • blurred vision or pain in eyes or having double vision;
  • change in mental status or having confusion or depressed level of consciousness
  • Any other symptom or health condition which is of concern to the recipient or the family

Under Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced the following regulations:

  1. “Diseases (Mucormycosis) Regulations. 2021” and will remain valid for one year from the date of publication.
  2. All the healthcare facilities (Government and Private) will follow the guidelines for screening, diagnosis. Management of Mucormycosis. Issued by MOHFW (GoI)/ICMR/ State Government and as amended from time to time.
  3. All the healthcare facilities (Government and private) will report each and every suspected or confirmed case of Mucormycosis to the Health Department through the concerned Chief Medical Officer.
  4. No person/institution or organization will spread any information or material for the management of Mucormycosis without prior permission from Health Department, Himachal Pradesh
  5. Notice for disobeying the Notification: A committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Medical Officer will be constituted in each district, which will have specialists of Internal Medicine. Ophthalmology. ENT and Epidemiology as members review any disobeying by any person/institution or organization of the notification or any order issued under these regulations. If allegations are proved, notice would be issued by the Chief Medical Officer of the concerned district against such person/institution or organization. Indicating the offence/irregularity conducted as per this notification.
  6. The concerned Chief Medical Officer will take the necessary action against the delinquent person/institution or organization as per section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
  7. Penalty: Any person/institution or organization disobeying these Regulations or order issued under these Regulations would be deemed to have committed an offence punishable under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
  8. Protection to persons acting under these Regulations: No suit or legal proceedings would lie against any person for anything done or intended to be done in good faith under these regulations.

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Shimla, Manali Receive Season’s First Spell of Snow, Cheers Tourism Industry

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snowfall in shimla 2021

Shimla-First spell of snow in Shimla’s tourist destinations, Narkanda and Kufri, has cheered the tourism industry as it would increase the footfall of tourists. Similarly, higher parts of Manali also reported a light spell of snow on Sunday evening. Lahaul-Spiti, however, reportedly witnessed heavy snowfall and Atal Tunnel, Rohtang, was closed for traffic. Parts of the Kinnaur district also recorded a spell of snow.

Chopal in Shimla had received 2-3 inches of snow, while Dodra Kwar recorded one foot of snow, according to the Met Department.

In Kullu, Jalori Pass had received 3 inches of snow, Rohtang top 2.5 feet, and Atal Tunnel 1.5 feet.

In Lahaul-Spiti, Koksar/Sissu had recorded 18 inches of snow, Keylong 8 inches, Darcha 12 inches, Udaipur 4 inches, Tindi 2 inches, Kaza 1 inch, and Lossar 2 inches of snow.

In Kinnaur, Chitkul had recorded 15.4 cms of snow, Kalpa 5 cms, and Sangla 7.62 cms. Nichar also received a light spell.

This change in weather has triggered a cold wave across the state. Further, the Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department had issued a yellow alert for December 5, 2021. The Met has predicted rain and snow on December 6 too. While the weather is predicted to be dry on December 8, the state could witness more rain and snow on December 7 and December 9, according to the Met Department.

Most roads, except in Lahaul-Spiti, remain open to traffic movement, the district administrations of Shimla and Kullu confirmed. Further, the administrations said preparations are being made to keep the roads clear in case of heavy snowfall.

This tourist season is crucial for the hospitality industry which was worst hit by the pandemic induced restrictions. However, the entry of Omicron – the new variant of Covid-19 that has been termed as a variant of concern by the WHO-haunts the season. India had reported as many as 21 cases of Omicron till Sunday. If the HP Government decides to impose restrictions on the entry of the domestic tourist in view of the spread of the new variant, the hospitality industry could again face losses.  

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Himachal Achieves 100% Vaccination Target, OPD at AIIMS, Bilaspur, Inaugurated   

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vaccination second dose in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh has achieved the 100 percent target of the second dose of Covid vaccination, the State government informed on Sunday.  Himachal Pradesh has become the first State of the country in achieving the target of cent per cent vaccination of targeted eligible age group, it informed.  

According to the HP Government, all eligible 53,86,393 adults have been administered the second dose of the vaccine.

District-Wise Vaccination Details

District

Number of People Vaccinated 

Bilaspur  318150
Chamba 352605
Hamirpur 361954
Kangra 1140439
Kinnaur 68460
Kullu 322643
Lahaul-Spiti 25494
Mandi 738818
Shimla 634019
Sirmaru 410187
Solan 584326
Una 429298

A complete vaccination was performed first in the inaccessible areas and tribal areas of the state and Kinnaur district became the first district in the entire country to administer the second dose of the vaccine to all eligible adults, the government informed.

On this occasion, Jagat Prakash Nadda, the Member of Parliament and National BJP President, also addressed a felicitation ceremony of Covid Vaccination Workers at Bilaspur on Sunday.

Nadda also dedicated the first OPD at AIIMS Kothipura in Bilaspur. The AIIMS Bilaspur would be made fully functional within the next six months, said Nadda.

 

jp nadda at aiims bilaspur

JP Nadda at AIIMS Bilaspur

He said that the foundation stone of this institution was laid about three years back and it would have been completed a year ago, but the pace was affected due to the corona pandemic. He said that Himachal Pradesh has got an Rs. 500 crore Satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh at Una.

He also congratulated the State Government, doctors, health care workers and all the frontline workers for achieving this unique feat. 

Union Minister of Health, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh were also present on the occasion

 

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Himachal Records Fresh Spell of Snow, HP Met Issues Alert

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snowfall in himachal pradesh

Shimla-The weather in Himachal Pradesh has taken a turn with a prediction of rain and snowfall till December 5, 2021. At the time of writing this report, Kaza in Lahaul-Spiti was receiving a fresh spell of snow, cheering the tourists, as well as, the hoteliers. So far, the traffic movement was normal in the region.

This has caused a sharp drop in temperatures across the state.

The District Administration of Lahaul-Spiti has advised the locals and tourists to avoid wandering to high altitude areas unnecessarily.

The HP Meteorological Department, Shimla, has also issued a yellow alert for December 2 and December 5. While the plains can experience light to moderate rainfall at a few places,  the middle and higher hills could witness widespread rain and snow on December 2.   

For December 4, the HP Met had predicted light to moderate rain across the state. For December 5, however, the Met has issued an yellow alert with a prediction of rain and snow at several places.

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