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Ban loudspeakers during exams: Forum

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DHARAMSALA – The Forum of Educationists for Improvement in School Education (FEISE) today urged the state government to ban the use of loudspeakers during the board examinations. The school board authorities should set up a helpline to address the complaints of noise pollution during the board examinations. RK Prashar, president, FEISE, said, “As most school board examinations are scheduled to begin from March 3 and conclude on March 25, a ban on the use of high volume sound systems, both in public places and residential areas, should be imposed during this period.” He said the ban should be enforced at least three days before the start of the examinations.~ The Tribune / Image: Dirnews

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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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Himachal Heads Towards Full Lockdown as Covid Cases Spike; 5,424 New Infections and 37 Deaths Reported in 24 Hours

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lockdown in himachal pradesh in may

Shimla-With 37 fatalities reported in the last 24 hours due to severe Covid symptoms, Himachal Pradesh’s total death toll has climbed to 1,817 on Saturday. The state reported 5,424 new cases of infection taking the total to 1,28,330.

Kangra district reported the highest number of fatalities with 14 deaths followed by state capital Shimla that reported 11 deaths in the last 24-hours. A 27-year-old woman was the youngest patient to die due to coronavirus and Pneumonia in the district of Kangra.

The infection has claimed the lives of 497 people in Kangra and 391 in Shimla till now.

 A total of 18725 people across the state were sampled for the infection on Saturday, an increase from Friday when 12,930. On Saturday a total of 3,634 tests remain awaited, the maximum is from Kangra district with 1,258 Covid tests awaited.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

According to a report by The Tribune, many RT-PCR test samples collected in Kangra district on April 29 were still awaited. Considering the fatality of the virus this mismanagement by state health authorities can prove deadly for many patients if they do not receive the diagnosis on time. With a delay of over a week, patients are also doubting the authenticity of the samples since they are potent for testing for just 24 hours under ideal conditions.

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association came down heavily on the Health Ministry on Saturday criticising the lack of medical equipment and crumbling medical infrastructure. In a press release on Saturday, the IMA urged the central government to ‘wake up from its slumber’ as thousands of Covid patients succumbed to severe symptoms due to lack of basic medical equipment like oxygen cylinders, ambulances, and more. The IMA also pointed out the lack of Covid vaccine stock even though everyone above the age of 18 is eligible to receive their shots. The press release also mentioned that sporadic night curfew will not be much effective in curbing the spread of infection and requested the government that life is more precious than the economy.

The Himachal government has now planned on imposing a full lockdown in the state considering the rapid increase of infection cases.  However, the government is apprehensive in using the term “lockdown” and is still calling it “corona curfew”.

Also Read: Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

The update comes after a partial corona curfew was put in place from May 7. Under the new lockdown rules, public transport both private and the government will not be running, and shops selling essential commodities will remain open for three hours only. Timing of the shops would be fixed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners. Citizens will also not be allowed to travel in private vehicles unless there is an urgent requirement.

View the District-wise Details of all COVID-19 Cases for May 8, 2021 (Till 7 pm) Below:

Covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh may 8

Feature Photo:Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

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Curfew Rules in Himachal to Change from May 10, More Restrictions to be Imposed

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HP Govt new curfew rules in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Curfew Rules in Himachal Pradesh have been changed from 10 May onwards. More stringent restrictive measures would be put in place, the state government said today.

The Disaster Management Cell of the Revenue Department, HP Government, today issued a notification regarding the changes in the curfew rules which will come into effect from May 10 (6 am) to 17 May (6 am).

According to the notification, from 10 May onwards all public and private transport would remain closed. Movement of private vehicles would also be restricted except for emergency cases, vaccination, testing and treatment for COVID-19, and those used in the delivery of essential, medical and public services.  

Only shops selling essentials and daily needs such as food grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish, animal feed, fodder, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, groceries would be allowed to open for only three hours.

Further, shops dealing in construction material would also remain closed for now.

This time limit would not apply to pharmacies and medical stores.

Notification regarding the timings would be issued by the concerned district administrations, the government said.   

The reason behind the decision was cited to be the alarming rate of COVID-19 spread and fatality. The situation is likely to become more like a complete lockdown. 

The decision has also come after Chief Minister Jairam Thakur spoke to Prime Minister Narender Modi regarding the situation in the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that the state government had been facing flak over imposing a corona curfew with very flexible rules. Chief Minister, however, argues that the decision was taken to ensure that the livelihood of the people doesn’t get affected adversely.

Also Read: IMA Asks Govt, Why Are We Hiding the Actual Death Count? Demands Health Ministry to Wake Up from Slumber

Also, today, the Indian Medical Association issued a statement in which it condemned the union health ministry over its lackadaisical attitude in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a stern tone. The Association lashed out at the government over ignoring its recommendation for a complete and nationwide lockdown to break the chain.

Also, the Association alleged that the ministry is deciding without taking ground realities into account, which the health experts had been bringing to its notice. The IMA also questions the government as to why it was trying to hide the true number of COVID-19 casualties.

Today, the state has lost 37 lives to the infection and reported 5424 new cases.

Chief Minister claims that the state has a sufficient supply of oxygen, but the number of available oxygen cylinders was still an issue that needs to be attended to.

Earlier today, the government suggested that more stringent restrictive actions could be taken in Sirmaur, Solan, Una, and Kangra district, which are reporting a high number of new cases and fatalities.

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