Integrated plan with SOPs for tourists in Himachal

Health and tourism departments to prepare Covid protocol

Integrated plan with SOPs for tourists in Himachal

The health and tourism departments will prepare an integrated policy with SOPs specifically for tourists visiting the state in case anybody test positive or is need of medical attention. - File photo

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, September 25

The health and tourism departments will prepare an integrated policy with SOPs specifically for tourists visiting the state in case anybody test positive or is need of medical attention.

“The tourism and health departments are working on preparing an integrated plan for tackling any medical emergency or Covid cases among tourists who will be visiting the state,” disclosed Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, here today. He said since large a number of visitors are keen to visit Himachal, such a protocol will be put in place to ensure proper medical facilities and treatment of any guest.

Thakur said since visitors have started arriving in Kasauli, Dharamsala and Shimla, it is only appropriate that proper arrangements should be in place to tackle any eventuality. “It is not just the safety of our guests but also of the locals, who are working in hotels which is the prime responsibility of the government,” he said.

He said the entire protocol of shifting any positive tourist to a Covid care hospital or placing an asymptomatic person in isolation in a hotel will be detailed in the protocol so as to ensure quick response as and when the need arises.

Thakur said it was not possible for the Himachal Government but also for any state government to test every tourist. Hoteliers of Manali, who have yet to open up their properties for guests, have demanded antigen Covid testing of tourists at Bajaura, which is the entry point to Kullu district.

The Chief Minister said the focus now was on encouraging people to go in for home isolation in case they were asymptomatic or doing well so that the medical facilities in the Covid care hospitals were not stressed. “Priority will be people who are more vulnerable due to co-morbidities though all Covid patients will be given proper treatment and care,” he said.

The Manali Hoteliers Association has decided to open their hotels only from October 1. “We have written to Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, to put in place antigen testing facility at Bajaura as we are very concerned for the safety of the locals as almost all hotels are located in villages,” said Anup Thakur, President, Manali Hoteliers Association.

Similarly, Kinnaur and Spiti hoteliers have decided to remain closed till October 31 and a decision to open their properties will be taken later.

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