39 in Himachal’s Spiti valley test positive for Covid-19
Remote tribal village of Rangrik, 6km from Kaza, with a population of 900 has been declared a containment zoneUpdated: Oct 29, 2020, 13:09 IST
Thirty-nine residents of the remote Rangrik village in Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for Covid-19, health officials said on Thursday.
Though the villagers had been in self-isolation ever since the Covid-19 outbreak in March and had banned tourism in the area to keep outsiders at bay, the surfacing of coronavirus cases over the past few days led to the district administration declaring Rangrik village a containment zone.
As a precautionary step to contain the spread of coronavirus, the district authorities have sealed the village and barred in and out movement, except in an emergency.
HEALTH DEPT TEAM IN VILLAGE FOR CONTACT TRACING
A state health department team is carrying out testing of the primary contacts mainly in Kaza, the headquarters of Spiti, 320 km from the state capital of Shimla, on Thursday.
“Most of the people in Spiti are aware about the disease despite no internet connectivity in large areas. They are taking precautions on maintaining social distance while working in fields too,” assistant public relations officer Ajay Banyal told IANS over phone.
Kaza was the first in the state to sanitise the entire block. Rangrik is 6km from Kaza across the Spiti river and connected by a small bridge. With a population of about 900 people, it is a relatively green patch in an otherwise barren landscape.
Located at an altitude of 12,400 feet, it is the largest village in Spiti valley in terms of area and population.
The entire Spiti valley is populated mainly by tribals. The climatic conditions of the district are harsh as much of the land forms part of a cold desert where the mercury drops below minus 20 degrees Celsius during winter.
Himachal Pradesh reported 332 new Covid-19 cases since Wednesday afternoon. While two patients died, 205 were cured of the infection during the period.