The surge in cases in Lahaul valley has forced the administration to restrict tourist movement to Teling nullah near the north portal of the Rohtang tunnel. Tourists were not allowed to enter Lahaul villages on Thursday. The villages beyond the tunnel have been turned into containment zones.
According to officials, Thorang village along the Manali-Leh highway has just 42 residents as most people have migrated to Kullu for winter. The villagers had voluntarily decided to get tested a few days back. Of the total 42 samples, 41 tested positive.
“I’m staying in a separate room and have been cooking my own meals for the last four days. I was with my family members until we got to know about the results. However, I was strict about all protocols like sanitising hands, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing when in public areas. People should not take this disease lightly. As winter season is setting in, people should take extra precaution,” said Bhushan, whose five family members have tested positive.
According to sources, the villagers had gathered at one place during a religious programme a few days back. Social gathering is being blamed for the community transmission in the village. A large number of people in the surrounding areas have also tested positive.
Lahaul-Spiti chief medical officer Dr Palzor said his team are requesting residents to come forward to get themselves tested. Some 856 people have tested positive so far in the district. Mass infections in Spiti villages too have become a matter of concern. In Spiti, 39 residents of Rangrik village tested positive on October 28. Some 19 persons in tiny Hurling village of Spiti have also tested positive.