HP’s Covid positivity rate rises to 11%; five deaths reported in 1 week

As Covid cases surge in Himachal Pradesh, the state’s positivity rate has risen to 10.7% from 8.5% registered last week.

Kangra, Shimla and Mandi districts are the worst affected districts. Around 15 girl students of Government Teachers College, Dharamsala have tested positive for Covid and have been quarantined.

“There has been a rise in Covid cases in Himachal, especially after the government stepped up testing. Kangra district has the maximum number of clusters, Health Principal Secretary Subashish Panda said.

Kangra has 14 clusters, which include the residences of Tibetans in McLeodganj, the residence of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama since 1959. “We have repeatedly appealed to people to follow the Covid protocols. “We have advised government departments and officials to ensure that people wear masks indoors,” he said.

A total of 22,077 samples were sent for testing in the state last week (July 11-17) and 2,371 came positive.

Mandi tops with 19.2% positive rate. A total of 1,352 samples were tested in the district, of which 261 were found positive. Similarly, 439 cases were reported in Chamba and 3,103 samples were tested. The district has the second highest positivity rate at 14.2%.

Kulu reported 152 positive samples out of 1,153 sent for testing, with a positive rate of 13.2%.

In Shimla, 326 out of 2,583 samples tested positive, pushing the positive rate to 12.6%.

Kangra is 10.2% positive. Out of 5,534 tests, a total of 565 samples were found to be positive.

Among other districts, Una had a positive rate of 9.5%, followed by Sirmaur (9.2%), Kinnaur (8.7%), Solan (8.4%), Hamirpur (7.1%) and Lahaul-Spiti (7%). Bilaspur has the lowest positivity at 4.8%.

The state recorded five deaths last week. Three died in Chamba and one each in Kullu and Mandi. On Tuesday, 616 new Covid cases were detected in the state, 322 recovered and no deaths occurred in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases in Himachal now stands at 2,939.

CM launches vaccination campaign

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur launched the ‘Covid-19 Vaccine Amrit Mahotsav’ campaign at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital here on Tuesday.

“This drive is going on from July 15 and will continue till September 30. A target has been set to provide the precautionary dose free of cost to around 51 lakh eligible people above 18 years of age within 75 days. It will be completed before this,” he said.

Jai Ram said that his government is observing the increasing number of Covid cases in the state.

He urged people to adopt Covid-appropriate behavior and come forward to get vaccinated. The state now has a capacity of about 11,500 beds with 48 PSA plants, three LMO plants, about 18,000 oxygen cylinders and 1,014 ventilators, he said.

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