As tourists flock to hill stations, three COVID cases reported in Mussoorie's Cantonment Board area

Tourists in popular destinations have been seen blatantly violating COVID protocol.
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)
For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

DEHRADUN: Twenty days after the Uttarakhand government relaxed COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and allowed tourists to enter the state, three people in Mussoorie's Cantonment Board area have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Nodal Officer Dr Pradeep Rana, all three are family members and have been quarantined.

Seventeen other people, who were recently in contact with the COVID-positive patients, have undergone RT-PCR tests. Their results are expected in a day or two.

Over the last few weeks, as the country's COVID-19 caseload reduced after the devastating second wave, thousands have flocked to hill stations in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, despite warnings of a third wave.

Tourists in popular destinations have been seen blatantly violating COVID protocol. Several videos have surfaced online of large gatherings where many have been spotted without masks and minimal social distancing.

As part of the Uttarakhand government's efforts to reduce crowding at tourists places like Mussorie and Nainital, about 8,000 tourist vehicles were sent back over the last weekend.

According to Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nilesh Anand Bharane, check-posts have also been set up at the state border and tourists have been informed that they must have negative RT-PCR tests, prior hotel bookings and registration on the online portal.

The state's COVID curfew, meanwhile, has been extended till July 20. Restrictions will remain in force till 6 am on July 20. A cap of 50 people has also been imposed for weddings and funerals.

As per the union health ministry, there are currently 819 active COVID-19 cases in Uttarakhand. As many as 3,33,104 recoveries and 7,351 deaths have been reported in the state so far.

A total of 49,79,192 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, including 39,57,266 first doses and 10,21,926 second doses. 

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The New Indian Express