India fears Himalayan tourism may trigger a new Covid surge

Indian authorities worry that the influx of tourists into towns in the Himalayas may contribute to a new Covid-19 outbreak, as they warned that the virus may make a comeback in the summer.

In recent weeks, Indians have flocked to popular mountain resorts such as Simla, Manali and Mussuri to escape the hot summer months and take advantage of the recent decline in the number of coronavirus cases in the country. The devastating second wave This year’s virus.

Most of the country, including mountainous countries that rely on tourism, Reopening Local authorities encourage domestic travel in order to limit the severe economic blow of the prolonged blockade.

But officials warned that India may Facing the third wave He said that in the coming months, as parts of the country continue to struggle with high Covid positive rates and increased transmission, crowds of tourists may endanger the hard-won relief.

India’s Ministry of the Interior issued a warning on Saturday about “blatant disregard of Covid-related behavior at mountain stations and other tourist attractions.” VK Paul, head of the Covid-19 working group in India, said on Friday that the surge in tourism activities “brought new risks.”

At the peak of the second wave in May, India recorded more than 400,000 infections and 4,000 deaths every day-both figures are believed to be greatly underestimated-in a brutal surge Overwhelmed health system.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces Severe criticism of complacency Having failed to avoid the shock, it tried to assure the public that it was preparing for the possible comeback of the case.

Although the official daily number of cases has dropped to about 40,000, parts of India are battling new transmissions. Maharashtra, home to India’s wealthiest state and the financial capital of Mumbai, has re-implemented some blockade measures, while the southern state of Kerala has adopted some blockade measures. The number of registered cases continues to increase.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the positive test rate in some states including West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh has exceeded the 10% threshold.

The scene of crowds without masks pouring into the scenic spots and crowded mountain roads is depressing. According to the local newspaper Hindustan Times, the police said that they had turned back 2,000 cars on their way to Mussuri, a tourist resort in Uttarakhand.

Indian Tourism Industry However, since the beginning of the pandemic, international tourists have actually been barred from entering the country.

The government announced several relief measures last month, including providing guaranteed loans to tour guides and businesses, many of whom are facing financial crises.

Experts say the danger of the third wave is increasing Vaccination is slow, India continues to face a shortage of jabs used to vaccinate its population.

Since reaching 8.6 million single-day vaccination records in late June, the daily dose of vaccination has fallen below 4 million.

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