Tribune News Service
Solan, March 24
The bordering villages of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN) lying in the proximity of Punjab are at risk of contracting the more infectious UK Covid variant.
As many as 29 Covid cases were detected today from bordering villagers like Bhogpur, Jhajhara, Jhiriwala, Dhabota, Kripalpur, Kundlu and Nalagarh town. The UK Covid strain has not been tested as yet in the district.
SDM, Nalagarh, Mahinder Pal, said, “Covid cases in this industrial belt were emerging from villages located in the vicinity of Punjab and among those who had visited their relatives in the state. This was a cause of concern, especially after detection of UK Covid strain in Punjab.”
“We are keeping a close watch on such cases and Covid care centre at labour hostel Nalagarh with a capacity for 100 beds has been made functional. One floor has been kept ready at the ESIC hospital at Katha to meet any eventuality,” said the SDM.
Deputy Commissioner, Solan, KC Chaman, when quizzed, said the administration was in a state of high preparedness as with nearly 80,000 industrial workforce commuting from neighbouring places like SAS Nagar, Pinjore, Ropar, Zirakpur, etc., the probability of spread of Covid was high.
“Vaccination of all individuals of 18 years and above can help check its spread as enforcing a lockdown was not a viable option. Such a proposal would be taken up with the State government as BBN area posed a threat given the daily to and fro of nearly 80,000 people,” informed Chaman. He added that the UK Covid strain has not been detected till now.
266 new cases, 2 fatalities
Showing a steep hike, 266 new Covid cases were reported in the state on Wednesday. Besides, two deaths — one each in Kangra and Una — occurred in the last 24 hours. The border districts were the worst affected with the highest number of 63 cases being reported in Kangra, 47 in Solan, 43 in Una, 40 in Hamirpur, 29 in Sirmaur, 16 in Bilaspur, 15 in Shimla, 10 in Mandi, two in Chamba and one in Lahaul & Spiti.