The only green district in Himachal Pradesh in the coronavirus crisis, tribal Lahaul Spiti reported its first COVID-19 positive case today.

A 25-year-old labourer (migrant) reportedly working at Darcha bridge ahead of Keylong, when checked for flu-like symptoms at Regional Hospital Keylong was found COVID-19 positive.

According to Additional Chief Secretary (Health), RD Dhiman, the COVID-19 patient has been sent to Kullu.

The inquiry by district authorities in Lahaul revealed that he was working with six other labourers, who are now being brought to Institutional Quarantine Centre for taking samples and for quarantine.

The district authorities said another person, who was at RH Keylong for treatment tested negative but is symptomatic. “He is being kept under observation at RH, Keylong and his samples would against be taken after 5-6 days,” they said.

The Deputy Commissioner, Lahaul Spiti, meanwhile, held a meeting with the Border Road Organisation, Police and Health authorities today to ensure heightened vigil on the situation.

Lahaul Spiti did not report any case so far, partially due to the inaccessibility in winters, with Rohtang Pass closed for traffic in snow. The movement started only after mid-May. Even otherwise the tribals in Lahaul Spiti was quite vigilant of the situation and the community did not allow anyone to enter the villages from outside or even from within the district.

A live example of this was when the tribals in Spiti valley gathered to check the entry of Agriculture minister Ram Lal Markanda (who represents Lahaul Spiti constituency) in Kaza. Markanda was on an official tour to Kaza, but the villagers asked him to go for a 14-day quarantine first. On this, the minister had to return to the state capital without entering Kaza. And later, a case was reportedly registered against the people who had gathered and protested.