SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a primary stage of community spread of COVID-19, Health minister Rajiv Saizal said on Thursday.
The number of cases is increasing every day but the state's situation is "much better" than its neighbours, he told reporters here.
The coronavirus cases in Himachal Pradesh, with about 70 lakh population, have reached 8,296, according to data provided by the state health department on Thursday evening.
Saizal urged the people of the hill state to strictly follow the guidelines and maintain social distance, wear masks and wash or sanitise hands regularly.
He said the cases may be brought down by strictly abiding by the guidelines.
He asked people showing symptoms of the disease to get tested and added that over 2.30 lakh people in the state were already tested for coronavirus infection.
Health authorities have been directed to follow IEC (information, education and communication) norms to aware people against the spread of coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Shimla Chief Medical Officer Surekha Chopra said the recent data of COVID-19 cases established community spread of the virus in Shimla.
The coronavirus cases are increasing day by day and neither their index cases nor travel history is being found, she had said, adding that this established the community spread of the disease.
"That was why the monthly meeting of doctors with ASHA workers was held under the open sky in Shimla on September 7 as open-air and sunlight help in reducing the spread of the virus," she said.
The CMO said wherever possible, the meetings and other programmes should be held in the open.
The virus has claimed 62 lives in the state. Solan accounts for 16 of the total COVID-19 deaths in the state, followed by 11 in Kangra, eight each in Mandi and Shimla, five each in Hamirpur, Chamba and Una, and four in Sirmaur.
The number of active cases has climbed to 2,576, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said.
Solan has the highest number of active cases in the state at 500, followed by Kangra (451), Sirmaur (258), Una (234), Hamirpur (169), Shimla (206), Chamba (189), Mandi (227), Bilaspur (165), Kullu (119), Kinnaur (46) and Lahaul-Spiti (12), the data showed.
The total number of recoveries has risen to 5,645, the official said, adding that 11 patients have migrated.