Tribune News Service
Shimla, May 10
Covid-19 has spread to rural areas in upper Shimla. “The virus has spread beyond urban places to villages. Our predominantly rural areas such as Chopal and Nerwa had a few cases last time. This time, these areas are reporting a high number of Covid cases,” said Aditya Negi, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, today.
In several areas of Chopal and Theog subdivision, the district administration has found that the virus has spread mainly due to Kumbh returnees. “Many people were found Covid positive after they returned from the Kumbh,” said Negi.
Dr Rajender Tegta, BMO, Matiana, said the spike in cases was triggered by Kumbh returnees in Theog subdivision. “To begin with, we found eight Covid cases in Balag and an equal number in Dharech. From them, the virus spread to their primary contacts and then to the community,” he added. “We hardly had any cases in our block that could be traced to weddings. Most of the cases have the Kumbh connection,” he added.
Negi said that the movement of people from other high-load states and also from some districts of Himachal led to the Covid spread in the rural areas of Rohru and Rampur. “Covid not only spread from people coming from hotspots in other states but also from those returning from Una and Kangra districts and urban centres like Shimla,” he added.
Incidentally, many people have returned to their villages just before the imposition of the curfew in Himachal. To check the further spread of the virus in rural areas, the Deputy Commissioner has asked the local administration to get these people tested. “The BDO, BMO and Panchayati Raj Institute representatives will see to it that people returning home are tested for Covid, and are told not to mix with local people until their testing is done,” he said.
The virus spread can be gauged from the fact that many far-flung villages have been made containment and micro containment zones in the past couple of weeks. “Not everyone is keen on getting tested for Covid in villages. Many people keep hiding in their houses even if they have sure symptoms of the disease. It’s not going to be easy to control the spread of the virus in villages,” said a health care worker. “Maybe, the lockdown will help,” he added.