Hindustan Times (Jammu)

EX-HP CM Virbhadra Singh tests positive, hospitalis­ed

- HT Correspond­ent letterschd@hindustant­imes.com :

Virbhadra Singh, 86, a former chief minister of Himachal Pradesh and veteran Congress leader, has tested positive for Covid-19.

The six-time chief minister was in isolation at his house in Shimla after he tested positive on Monday but was brought to a private hospital in Mohali for treatment at 10am on Tuesday, family sources said .

Virbhadra’s son Vikramadit­ya Singh, 31, who is the Congress MLA from Shimla Rural, had tested positive two days ago.

Vikramadit­ya is also the state Congress general secretary and was the co-incharge for the Mandi municipal corporatio­n elections on April 7. He was at the forefront of the party’s campaign.

Virbhadra’s wife Pratibha Singh has tested negative for coronaviru­s but a domestic help at the former CM’s residence has tested positive.

An official, who did not wish to be named, said Singh is maintainin­g saturation on room air for now and had been started on treatment for Covid. “He is stable as of now but needs critical-care monitoring because of his age, comorbidit­ies and other factors.”

619 fresh infections, 11 deaths

Himachal recorded 619 fresh Covid infections on Tuesday, taking the state’s total case load to 71,394 while the death toll mounted to 1,122 after eleven patients succumbed to the contagion. Of the new cases, 148 were reported in Kangra, 104 in Solan, 74 in Shimla, 70 in Una, 59 in Mandi, 44 in Hamirpur, 38 in Kullu, 32 in Sirmaur, 22 in Bilaspur, 15 in Chamba, nine in Lahaul-Spiti and four in Kinnaur. Active cases have gone up to 6,269 while recoveries reached 63,966 after 407 patients recuperate­d.

Three deaths each were reported in Kangra, Mandi and Shimla and two in Una.

Shimla is the worst hit district with 11,771 cases followed by Kangra ( 11,206) and Mandi (11,164).

Solan has 8,799 infections, Una 4,986, Kullu 4,824, Sirmaur 4,470, Hamirpur 4,189, Bilaspur 3,776, Chamba, 3,346, LahaulSpit­i 1441 and Kinnaur 1,422.

Tourists will not be harassed on borders: CM

Tourists visiting Himachal Pradesh will not be “harassed” for a coronaviru­s negative test report on the state’s borders, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Tuesday.

We have taken care of our tourism industry to ensure it does not suffer this session as the coronaviru­s pandemic affected it last year. So, in the SOP released for the industry, we have put in place a mechanism to monitor it accordingl­y. Tourists and other visitors will not be harassed by stopping for corona reports on the state’s borders because it causes a lot of inconvenie­nce and difficulty to them,” he told reporters here.

As majority of the visitors will stay in hotels, the administra­tion has put in place a mechanism to check the visitors from the seven states on their arrival at the place of their stay, he added.

The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday made it mandatory for people coming from seven states to show a COVID-19 negative test report on entering the state.

The CM also directed the Kangra district authoritie­s to declare a place or locality having more than five Covid cases as minicontai­nment zones.

After MC polls, Cong bars political events in HP

Expressing concern over the rising coronaviru­s infections in Himachal Pradesh, state Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore on Tuesday directed the party cadre not to organise any major events and avoid unnecessar­y travel.

Rathore demanded that the government speed up rapid testing on the interstate borders as the situation alarming in the border districts of Kangra, Solan ,Una, and Sirmaur.

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