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CM directs to ensure Covid appropriate behaviour by tourists

Presiding over the video conference meeting with the Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers from Shimla today to review the situation of Covid-19 pandemic in the State, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur  directed the officers to ensure that the tourists visiting the State strictly follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour to check spread of the virus.

Chief Minister said that the State Government has allowed free movement of tourists to the State, which has resulted in large number of tourists heading towards the hills. He said that the State being a tourist place was attracting several tourists daily. He said that although the State welcomes the tourists, but at the same time, the State Government was also ensuring that no tourist would be allowed to flout SOPs issued by the State Government regarding Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. He also directed the district administration to keep watch on tourist’s not following Covid appropriate behaviour and take action against the defaulters. He urged the tourists to use of face masks and hand sanitizers besides strictly following the SOPs issued by the State Government from time to time.

Jai Ram Thakur said that since the number of Covid cases were declining at a steady pace, the number of tourists have also increased manifold. He said that the State Government was not against this, but at the same time the State Government was ensuring that people must adopt Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. He said that main tourist destinations such as Shimla, Manali, Dharamshala, etc. were attracting large number of tourists. He said that the hoteliers, travel agents and owners of the home stay must also motivate the tourists staying in their establishments to maintain Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. He said that NGOs would be involved in providing masks to tourists in case they do not have masks with them.

Chief Minister said the police must identify places where the flow of tourists was very high. He said that special police personnel should be deployed there so that people could be motivated to adopt Covid-19 appropriate behaviour. He said that Mother Child Hospitals coming up in the State should be completed within the stipulated time period. He said that greater focus must be laid on contact tracing.  He said that eight PSA oxygen plants have been established in the State and 28  more PSA plants would be established soon to ensure there was no dearth of oxygen in case of any eventuality.

Jai Ram Thakur said that measures must be taken to improve the patient care during hospitalization besides augmentation of testing capacity to handle the expected third wave. He said that provision of oxygen concentrators at Community Health Centres level must be made. He said that procurement of additional equipment for strengthening of ICU facilities was being ensured.  He said that total 41,44,972 doses had been administered to the people of the State till 8th July, 2021.

Jai Ram Thakur said that special thrust must be laid on contact tracing and adopting proactive approach to detect cases of coronavirus. He said that shopkeepers and other business establishments must be persuaded to adopt strategy of ‘No Mask, No Service’.

Health Minister Dr Rajiv Saizal said that Health Department was making all efforts to handle the expected third wave of Covid-19.

Chief Secretary Anil Khachi said that constant meeting with the stakeholders was vital to follow various SoPs in the State. He said that greater stress must be laid on tracing and tracking of Covid patients. He said that steps must be taken to ensure effective maintenance of makeshift hospitals so that they could be used in shortest possible time.

Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthi welcomed the Chief Minister and conducted the proceedings of the meeting. He also made a presentation on preparedness for the anticipated third wave of Covid-19.

All the Deputy Commissioners apprised the Chief Minister about steps being taken by them in their respective districts to aware the tourists and general public regarding Covid appropriate behaviour. They also highlighted the steps taken regarding preparedness for third wave.

Additional Chief Secretary J.C. Sharma, Deputy Commissioners of Mandi, Kangra and Lahaul Spiti were present at Shimla whereas, other Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police and Chief Medical Officers attended the meeting virtually from their respective district.