All but one test positive for COVID-19 in Himachal village; expert blames winter, surge in arrival of tourists

The Thorang village in Lahaul-Spiti district is the latest hotspot to have come to light in the sparsely-populated tribal district; earlier in October, 39 residents of Rangrik village of Spiti Valley had tested positive for the infection

Press Trust of India November 20, 2020 21:26:10 IST
All but one test positive for COVID-19 in Himachal village; expert blames winter, surge in arrival of tourists

Representational image. AFP

Shimla: All except one of the 42 residents of Thorang village in Himachal’s Lahaul-Spiti district have tested positive for COVID-19 with 2.83 percent population of the sparsely-populated tribal district itself having been infected.

While 41 people have tested positive in the Thorang village, a total of 890 people of Lahaul-Spiti district, accounting for about 2.83 percent of its population of around 31,500, have been found infected with coronavirus so far, state Health Department data showed on Friday.

Earlier in October, 39 residents of Rangrik village of Spiti valley had tested positive for the infection.

Of the 890 Lahaul-Spiti district people tested COVID-positive so far, 479 have been cured while 406 are still recovering from the disease. As per data, five people have succumbed to the virus in the district so far.

Several Lahaul-Spiti district residents generally migrate to the adjoining Kullu district in winter due to the extreme cold, a district official said. Dr RC Thakur, the principal of Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College in Mandi and a Lahaul district native, has attributed the increasing COVID-19 cases in the district to three reasons - a recent religious function in Lahaul, extreme winter and the arrival of many tourists in the district after the opening of Atal Tunnel Rohtang.

Thakur advised people to shield themselves from cold, maintain distance and hygiene and wear masks.

Meanwhile, a district health official said they have started special awareness programmes to help people guard against the infection.

In Himachal Pradesh, a total of 32,239 people have tested positive for COVID till date. Of them, 25,176 have been cured with the number of active cases at present hovering at 6,547. The deadly coronavirus has claimed 484 lives till date in the state, as per the Health Department data.

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