Covid Situation in HP Under Control but Pandemic Not Yet Over: CM Thakur

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday said that though the COVID-19 situation in Himachal Pradesh is under control, the pandemic is not yet over. He said it is a matter of concern that 300 COVID-19 cases were reported in the state on Monday.

Speaking in the state assembly, the chief minister claimed his government has created much more health infrastructure than the Congress did in over 50 years of its rule. The number of active COVID-19 cases in Himachal Pradesh stood at 2,086 on Monday, while the positivity rate was recorded at 1.9 per cent last week, according to a health official.

The COVID-19 situation in Himachal Pradesh is under control but the pandemic is not yet over, Thakur underscored. It is a matter of concern that 300 fresh cases were reported in the state on Monday, he said.

Thakur said there were only 50-60 ventilators in the state when the Covid pandemic started. Now, there are 800 ventilators, he said. Similarly, now there are 7,500 D-type oxygen cylinders and the government is procuring 1,500 more, he said.

Earlier, Congress legislators staged a walkout from the House while Health Minister Rajiv Saizal was replying to a discussion on COVID-19. Terming the behaviour of Congress legislators casual and irresponsible, Thakur said they walked out from the House to get media coverage.

During the discussion, Saizal said the Himachal Pradesh government is ready for a possible third wave of the pandemic. To prepare for the third wave, the minister said, paediatric ICUs are being set up at four major hospitals of the state. A pediatric ICU Centre of Excellence is also being set up in Tanda.

Saizal claimed the state government efficiently handled the Covid situation. Over 16,000 people died in neighbouring Punjab whereas the number of deaths in Himachal Pradesh is much lower at 3,519, he said.

Congress’ Shillai MLA Harshvardhan Chauhan countered this, saying the number of deaths was high given the population of the state and this shows the state government’s failure in handling the Covid situation properly. He also alleged that though there are 20 ventilators in Nahan, none of them is working. There is a similar situation in other parts of the state.

Saizal informed the House that 13.87 lakh people, 24 per cent of Himachal Pradesh’s total population, have been administered both doses of Covid vaccines, which is the highest in the country. He said the oxygen availability in the state has gone up from 32 metric tonnes at the peak of the second wave of the pandemic to 148 metric tonnes.

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