515 people under watch in Himachal

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Shimla : Twelve new cases of Coronavirus were tested today in Himachal Pradesh and all of them were reported negative, ACS Health-cum- Nodal Officer for COVID-19 R.D. Dhiman said.

He said that till today 1030 total cases were under surveillance in Himachal Pradesh, out of which 387 have completed 28 days and are safe from the disease.

Now 515 persons were under surveillance in the state. He said all the educational institutional were closed and exams were also postponed. The teachers were exempted from coming to educational institutions and would remain at their homes and the concerned Deputy Commissioners can requisite their services as and when required for IEC activities.

Today orders have been issued to all controlling officers to  stagger the staff of class III and IV to avoid heavy rush in the government offices, as a preventive and pre-emptive measures for social distancing.

The roaster of the employees would be prepared by the controlling officers in such a manner that they report to their duties in two lots on alternative days. So 50 percent of the employees would attend the office everyday and the remaining 50 percent would work from their home/residence, so far as it is practicable.

The timings of arrival and departure of employees reporting for duties would also be staggered to prevent overcrowding enroute and in the offices by forming two groups.

Dhiman said the employees who do not attend the offices will not leave the station and be available on telephone and other means of communication and will attend office is called for any exigency of work.

The order will not apply to field staff of the departments engaged in maintenance of essential/ emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control spread of COVID-19.

The payment of electricity and water bills have also been postponed without extra charges. Orders have been issued today to close beauty parlours and saloons in the state. All kind of gathering have been banned and directions have been given to close all places of religious worship.

HpIsolation wards have been established in IGMC Shimla, Govt Medical College Tanda and Govt Medical College Ner Chowk Mandi. OPD’s of all the three medical colleges have been ordered to close from 23rd March, 2020.

The health secretary said that there is no shortage of PPEs, masks and hand sanitizers in the state. Doctors and para-medical staff who deal with confirmed cases and symptomatic persons, are the only ones requiring PPEs and N 95 masks.

Common persons need not to wear any mask and persons having flu or respiratory problems can were three ply surgical mask. Around 2282 PPEs are available in the state and 45 new 108 ambulances have been dispatched to health institutions.

Dhiman said that Himachal Pradesh has taken innovative steps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the state, which is being followed by other states as well. Two persons who were tested positive who arrived in New Delhi from abroad and contact mapping has been done of 50 persons and they are being kept in home quarantine and would be shifted to health institutions if required. 

Directions have been given to Deputy Commissioners to strictly follow the guidelines issued by the GoI and state government to prevent and further spread of COVID-19.

The price of masks and hand sanitizers have been fixed and DC’s and Drug Controller were asked to sternly enforce it.Dhiman said that testing protocol has been changed and now all visitors coming from foreign countries were being screened and persons with severe respiratory symptoms will be tested.