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Home / Chandigarh / McLeodganj under total lockdown after Himachal’s first coronavirus death

McLeodganj under total lockdown after Himachal’s first coronavirus death

69-year-old Tibetan back from US hid his travel history and died after acute respiratory distress at Tanda medical college; stayed at Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tilla settlement with flu symptoms

chandigarh Updated: Mar 24, 2020 12:54 IST
Naresh Thakur
Naresh Thakur
Police personnel patrolling a street in McLeodganj on Monday night. A total lockdown was imposed in the hill town after a Tibetan man died of Covid-19, the first coronavirus death in Himachal Pradesh.
Police personnel patrolling a street in McLeodganj on Monday night. A total lockdown was imposed in the hill town after a Tibetan man died of Covid-19, the first coronavirus death in Himachal Pradesh.(HT Photo)

DHARAMSHALA: McLeodganj town of Himachal Pradesh is under total lockdown after a 69-year-old Tibetan man died of coronavirus disease on Monday evening, becoming the first Covid-19 death in the state.

Kangra senior superintendent of police (SSP) Vimukt Ranjan said: “There will be a total lockdown and no one is allowed to enter or leave the town.”

People are not even allowed to leave their houses.

“There are sufficient provisions of essential commodities in McLeodganj and there is no need for any panic,” said Ranjan.

In case of an emergency, the administration will ensure that supplies are delivered home at the earliest.

“No one will be allowed to move out of their houses in the entire McLeodganj area. Please cooperate with the police and administration,” the SSP appealed.

PATIENT HID TRAVEL HISTORY

The local administration said that the patient, Tenzin Choephel, who returned from the US hid his travel history.

He landed at Delhi airport on March 15 and had flu-like symptoms. He stayed at Majnu-ka-Tilla Tibetan settlement in Dehli for a week and arrived in McLeodganj on March 21 in a taxi. He went into self-quarantine at home along with three family members but did not disclose his travel history to the administration.

He developed acute respiratory distress on March 23 and was rushed to a private hospital in Kangra town from where he was referred to the Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC), Tanda where he died.

His family has been home quarantined.

Kangra deputy commissioner Rakesh Kumar Prajapati appealed to all residents with a travel history to inform the authorities. “By not doing so, you are putting yourself, your family and the entire society at risk,” he said, adding that the other two Covid-19 patients of the state also hid their travel history and one woman patient was not even cooperating with the health staff.

PRIVATE HOSPITAL STAFF QUARANTINED

The authorities have locked down the private hospital where the Tibetan man was first treated. The entire staff has been kept in quarantine. The administration is also identifying the people who came in his contact. The driver of the taxi in which he travelled has also been traced and he and his family members have been quarantined.

500 BACK FROM MIDDLE EAST BEING TRACED

The Kangra district administration is trying to trace around 500 local residents who have returned from Middle-East countries in the past few days.

Most of them are youngsters who worked there as skilled labourers.

Prajapati said an estimated 500 people returned to the district from Middle East after the coronavirus outbreak but have not disclosed their travel history.

He said around 650 people are in self quarantine in Kangra district and the number could go up to about 2,500.

“We are taking the help of Asha and anganwadi workers to identify people who had travelled abroad recently,” he said.