Jai Ram’s 12 security personnel, driver, among 61 test positive in HP

They are believed to have contracted the virus from the personnel who had tested positive last week. All of them were institutionally quarantined.
Fourteen Covid cases were reported in Mandi district’s Sundernagar town, 11 in Kullu, four in Una, and two each in Kangra and Solan.(HT file photo)
Fourteen Covid cases were reported in Mandi district’s Sundernagar town, 11 in Kullu, four in Una, and two each in Kangra and Solan.(HT file photo)
Updated on Aug 18, 2020 10:15 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Shimla/dharamshala:

Thirteen more people in Himachal chief minister Jai Ram Thakur’s security detail have tested positive for Covid-19, health officials said on Tuesday.

The patients include a personal security officer (PSO), one driver and five security personnel. They are believed to have contracted the virus from the personnel who had tested positive last week. All of them were institutionally quarantined.

Within a week, 19 people in the CM’s security detail have tested positive for the deadly infection. Five personnel tasked with the CM’s security, including a PSO, one driver and three police jawans, had tested positive on August 14.

In Kullu, over a dozen police personnel, including members of a police contingent that had participated in the state-level Independence Day parade were quarantined after the drill instructor tested positive. The CM had presided over the function.

Banjar deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Binny Minhas who commanded the parade has also been quarantined. The Kullu police station has been sealed.

Authorities have also informed the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Home Guard whose contingents took part in the parade.


Meanwhile, the Covid-19 tally in Himachal rose to 4,235 with 61 new Covid-19 cases reported across six districts since Monday night.

Fifteen cases were reported in Shimla, 14 in Mandi, 11 each in Kullu and Una, four in Kangra, two each in Chamba and Hamirpur and one in Solan.

Mandi chief medical officer Dr Devender Sharma said all those found positive in Mandi were from outside the state. “They are labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and were in institutional quarantine,” said Dr Sharma, adding that the patients had been shifted to a he Covid-care centre at Karnodi.

Among the 11 people found positive in Kullu, six are farm labourers from Naggar, deputy commissioner Richa Verma said. The remaining five include an army jawan and a policeman. Two are primary contacts of infected people and one person returned from Haryana recently.

In Una, eleven people have tested positive. Among four patients in Kangra, one woman has no travel history; two are primary contacts of Covid patients; and one returned from Punjab.

So far, the health authorities have conducted 1,83,224 tests, which is nearly 25,000 tests per million population. In the past one week, the number of new infections has grown by an average of 3% and the recovery rate in the state is 69%.

Active cases in the state are 1,253, while 2,923 people have recovered.

To date, 17 people have succumbed to the contagion. In terms of the total cases, Solan is the worst-hit district with 982 cumulative cases, followed by Kangra (620), Sirmaur (516), Hamirpur (416), Una (340), Mandi (331), Chamba (297), Shimla (248), Kullu (238), Bilaspur (182), Kinnaur (59) and Lahaul and Spiti (six).


    Naresh K Thakur is a staff reporter in Hindustan Times’ Himachal bureau. Based at Dharamshala, he covers Tibetan affairs, local politics and environmental issues.

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