Covid-19 reaches Himachal’s Hikkim village, home to world’s highest post office
Four residents have tested positive for Covid-19 in the remote Hikkim village, located at a height of 14,400 feet in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh.
“All four have mild symptoms and are in home isolation. We are trying to trace their contact history,” Kaza additional district magistrate Gian Sagar Negi said on Tuesday.
The state health department has sent a team to conduct random sampling in the three sparsely populated villages of Hikkim, Langza and Comic in the mountains of Spiti.
At present, no cases have been reported from Langza, which has a population of 136, and Comic that is home to 87 people.
Hikkim village has a population of 200. It has the world’s highest post office that is a vital means of communication for villagers and those staying in adjoining hamlets. Besides, the post office serves as a bank where villagers operate savings accounts. Tourists, who make it this far to Hikkim village, take pride in mailing their letters from the highest post office.
WEDDING FUNCTIONS LED TO RISE IN CASES IN NOVEMBER
Despite being sparsely populated, some villages of Spiti valley saw a rise in Covid-19 infections in November due to social gatherings, particularly wedding ceremonies.
Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, the health department has gathered 4,646 samples in Spiti of which 473 tested positive. As many as 445 people have recovered from coronavirus infection. The total number of active cases is 25. Two persons have died due to the contagion.
WINTER, POLL PLANS COULD AGGRAVATE SITUATION
The number of daily fatalities due to Covid-19 in Himachal Pradesh is at a record high, while both the numbers of infections and admissions continue to rise. Health experts say the next few months will be challenging for the state with the harsh winter setting in and the state government planning to hold local body elections next month after imposing restrictions. The experts fear campaigning can aggravate the Covid-19 spread in Himachal where 49,761 people have been infected with Covid-19 and 813 have died due to the virus
Shimla, Kullu, Mandi and Kangra districts are the worst affected in the state.
More than 220 people have died of Covid-19 so far in Shimla district alone.