The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday made Covid’s RTPCR negative test report a must for persons visiting the state from seven virus high load states of the country from 16 April in a bid to curb the spike in coronavirus cases in the state.
HP Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced this decision after a meeting with senior officers of the state government that was held to review the situation arising due to sharp surge in Covid cases in the state.
“Advisory will be issued that people of 7 high load states of Punjab, Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh need to carry 72 hour prior RTPCR negative report while visiting the state after 16 April to check Covid spread,” the CM said.
Thakur said all the SoPs and guidelines issued by the Centre and state governments to check the spread of Coronavirus must be enforced strictly in the state.
As of now the HP government has decided to allow tourists to visit the state but at the same time hotel owners and tourists should strictly adhere to the SoPs issued from time to time, he said.
He stressed on the strategy for testing, tracing and treatment with effective surveillance of micro containment zones and said greater emphasis must also be laid on RT-PCR tests to achieve the target of 70 per cent RT-PCR tests.
“The Health department must also take steps to increase bed capacity in order to meet any eventuality and it must be ensured that there is minimum wastage of Covid vaccines. Covid is spreading at a fast pace which is the biggest concern and during the last 45 days, Himachal has reported 10,690 new cases,” the CM said.
He stated that in addition to this, the number of deaths had also increased rapidly which was a matter of concern as 120 persons had died in the state during the last 45 days.
“The government has allowed the devotees to visit various temples in the state during the Navratri festival but at the same time, organizing of langars, bhandaras and jagran has been completely banned. The devotees are allowed to visit the temple to perform puja and darshans by maintaining social distance and using face masks,” he said while urging the temple management to ensure strict implementation of the SoPs.
Thakur said no overcrowding would be allowed in buses and other public transport and private vehicles.
He said that wearing face masks even in the vehicles must be enforced strictly. He said that SoPs regarding organising social functions such as marriages etc. must also be adhered to strictly.
Besides, strict action must also be taken against those involved in gross violation of SoPs as laxity shown by the people had resulted in a sharp resurgence of Covid cases in the state, he noted.
“Special focus must be laid on regular monitoring of people under home isolation and people should also be motivated to immediately go for testing as soon as they get any symptoms so that they could be provided treatment without delay.
In addition to this, special thrust should be paid on Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material regarding taking fundamental precautions such as use of face mask, social distancing and seeing a doctor in case of any ILI symptoms.
People should also be sensitised to avoid visiting public places unnecessarily and maintain proper social distancing in workplaces as well,” Thakur added.