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HC asks Himachal Govt to ban polythene packing for cookies,

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HC asks Himachal Govt to ban polythene packing for cookies, chips

SHIMLA-The Himachal Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to ban sale of ‘junk food’ in non bio-degradable packs from April 1 but exempted essential items like edible oil and milk from the ban.A Division Bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjay Karool directed that the list of non-essential items (junk food), identified by committee set up by the High Court, are not to be sold in non-biodegradable packing. The items included chips, wafers, biscuits, namkeen, candy, chewing gum, ice cream, chocolates, noodles, sugary cereals, among other items.

Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 9 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture the world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Himachal: Covid Claims 55 Patients, 3,093 New Cases in 24-Hours; Sharp Decline in Testing

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Coronavirur report himachal pradesh

Shimla-In the last 24-hours, Himachal Pradesh has reported 55 deaths due to coronavirus and 3,093 new cases of the infection. The state has now reported 1,31,423 cases of Covid-19 till now while the total death toll has reached 1,872.

Thee deceased aged between 28-86 years. The 28-year-old  male from Solan district had no comorbidity and the reason for the death was cited to be ‘Severe COVID disease’. At least 13 deceased persons were aged below 50 years. Further, according to the official statistics, as many as 32 (58 %) of these deceased had no comorbidity. This constant spike in fatality rate among those without comorbidities has become a matter of concern.  

On Sunday, the highest fatalities were reported from Kangra district with 15 deaths, followed by Shimla that reported nine deaths, and Mandi, where seven Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 9, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

daily cases in himachal may 8

Source: HP NHM

On Saturday, 15,253 Covid samples were taken from across the state. But, with just 9,367 samplings on Sunday, Covid testing across the state witnessed a sharp decline from previous days. Out of this 3,695 test results are awaited. Considering the number of tests conducted, over 33 percent of samples were found to be positive – a very high rate.

This comes at a time when the virus is spreading at a faster rate as the R-naught value of Covid has sharply increased. Contrary to the expectation to see an increase in the testing, the sampling either remains stagnant or keeps decreasing now and then.

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to impose a stricter curfew across the state from May 10. The curfew will come in effect from Monday at 6 am and will remain in force till May 17. The week-long corona curfew is intended to break the chain of the virus as health infrastructure overwhelms with the rising number of cases.

Further, there are a total of 25 dedicated Covid hospitals across the state, with 2,059 beds. Out of these,  only 1,821 ICU beds are available with oxygen support. As of Sunday, only 377 ICU beds with oxygen support are reported to be vacant according to official data issued by the state government.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Deaths for May 9, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

hp govt covid-19 deaths data may 8

Source: HP NHM

daily death may 2

 

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Oxygen Plants in Chamba, Hamirpur Operational, Two Make-Shift Hospitals Under-Construction: HP Govt

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Shimla-A Make-Shift Hospital for corona patients was being constructed at Bhangrotu in Mandi district, and the state government claims that it is almost ready and the testing process regarding oxygen supply was in the final stage. This Hospital would have a facility of 90 oxygenated beds with a system of central oxygen supply and an ICU facility for critically ill patients, the state government claimed.  

Another 200 bedded Make Shift Hospital would be coming up at Khaliyar, near Mandi, within a week, it claimed.  All the 200 beds in this hospital would be supplied oxygen through the Central Oxygen facility, the government said.

HP Govt make-shift hospitals

The government also claimed that the facility of oxygenated beds has been increased from 120 beds to 220 in Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College and Hospital Nerchowk and efforts were being made to increase it further to 300 beds. There are 40 oxygenated beds in BBMB Hospital Sundernagar, 50 beds in Mother and Child Hospital Sundernagar and the number of oxygenated beds in the Civil Hospital Ratti has been increased from 25 to 45 beds, the government claimed.

HP Govt Inaugurates Oxygen Plants at Chamba and Hamirpur

The HP government also inaugurated Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) Oxygen Plants at Dr Radhakrishanan Government Medical College Hamirpur and Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College Chamba on Sunday. The plant at Chamba has a capacity of 400 PLM and the one at Hamirpur has a capacity of 300 PLM.  

The state government said that it has taken up the matter of increasing the oxygen quota for the State from the existing 15 MT to 30 MT with the Union Government. The Centre Government has already sanctioned 13 oxygen plants for the State, it said. Out of the seven plants sanctioned earlier, six plants have been established at Dharamshala, Mandi, Shimla, Chamba, Nahan, Hamirpur and the one at Tanda would be completed soon, the state government claimed.

The government also claimed that six Oxygen plants sanctioned for the State recently by the Union Government would be set up at Civil Hospital Palampur in Kangra district, Zonal Hospital Mandi, Civil Hospital Rohru and Civil Hospital Khaneri in Shimla district, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar Government Medical College and Hospital Nahan in Sirmaur district and Regional Hospital Solan.

The government said that the PSA plant at Hamirpur is expected to supply oxygen to a 30-bedded fully dedicated Covid ward established in Dr RKGMC Hamirpur at a cost of about Rs 1  crore.

 

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Govt and People Flaunting Interstate Travel SOPs Costing Himachal

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HP govt interstate travel sops

Shimla– Though the Himachal Pradesh Government has now announced imposition of strict curfew, similar to a lockdown, there is no doubt about it that both the government and the public underestimated the second wave of the pandemic armed with double mutant- more deadly than the first one. The government in the state was hardly able to take timely decisions at its own and those taken appeared to be ineffective and half-hearted. My own experience is a testimony to the carelessness shown by the government, as well as, the people during inter-state travel. 

HP Govt was one among the many states that made it mandatory for people entering the state to register with COVID e-pass and to carry a negative RT-PCR report. The measures taken by the government seemed commendable to me until I faced the ground reality.

A week after the official notification was issued, I travelled to the state capital city from New Delhi – one of the major hotspots. Rigorous checking and contact tracing is the need of the hour, but what’s happening at the border is far more different than what is expected of the officials.

It shouldn’t come to us as a surprise if fake e-passes in the names of Donald Trump and Amitabh Bachhan are being produced. This matter should put light on the negligent approach of state authorities. As much as we trust the government bodies to contain the virus, they are dangerously failing. In my own experience, I wasn’t asked to produce a negative RT-PCR report upon entering the state, nobody in the last 72hrs tried to contact trace me. I travelled to Shimla in a public transportation bus, on the eve of 4th May 2021. On entering the state border, the assigned official made no extraordinary attempt to check the passengers. Many were travelling without e-pass and RT-PCR test reports. I even asked the official to check my RT-PCR report, to which he showed no concern. It is due to careless mistakes like these that made India one of the most affected countries in the world.

I also noticed that many passengers were not carrying e-passes, either because they were not aware of the need to carry them, or because they didn’t take this mandatory condition seriously. The sheer ignorance of common people and those who are appointed to keep check of the situation is the reason why we are heading towards a catastrophe. The onus is on us, too. I made sure that I travelled with e-pass, so that the state government stays aware of my movement. I got my test done so that I don’t infect the virus to others unknowingly. I am also observing home isolation for a period of 14 days because there’s no harm in following the precautionary measures.

India is in the second wave of this deadly pandemic, and it is time we take responsibility for our actions. The primary reason for the rise of the second wave in India is the rampant violation of COVID protocols.

Now that the state government has decided to implement a curfew similar to a lockdown, I expect that the new Covid protocols will not have any loophole. This time people along with the administration will have to stay prepared to face the reality. The virus can be stopped, but only with our combined efforts.

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