Kushal Kumar Jha
With COVID-19 cases surging, Himachal Pradesh opts for 5 days work week for govt employees
In the wake of surging COVID-19 cases in the state, the Himachal Pradesh government has now opted for 5 days work routine for its employees across the state. The HP government on Saturday has also ordered for the restriction in the number of guests allowed in all social, political, and religious gatherings to 50 people. The decision came after a meeting chaired by HP Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. The meeting was also attended by the Health Minister Rajiv Sehgal Irrigation and Public Health Minister Mahender Singh and Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj. The meeting also concluded with a slight modification in the timings of the night curfew imposed in four districts of Himachal Pradesh, namely, Shimla, Mandi, Kangra, and Kulu. The new night curfew timings are 9 PM to 6 AM, instead of the previous 8 PM to 6 AM. "Henceforth, not more than 50 people will be allowed at a social gathering, be it a wedding, political rally or religious congregation as such gatherings have been found to be the biggest cause of COVID-19 spread,” said the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. CM also clarified that the limit of 50 people allowed in functions will apply to any gatherings being held both indoors and outdoors. Earlier, the limit was 100 for indoor venues, and 200 for outdoors. CM also hinted that despite the inconvenience being faced by the general public in the state, the night curfew would continue for a foreseeable future. CM Thakur while commenting on the healthcare situation of the state said that “The bed capacity, too, will be augmented across the state so that in case of a requirement, COVID-19 patients can be accommodated,” while also adding that private health institutions would also be roped in for the purpose.