Three test COVID-19 positive in Mussoorie days after tourists flock hill station

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At least three people in Uttarakhand’s Mussoorie tested COVID-19 positive, 20 days after the state government relaxed curbs in the state allowing tourists to enter. According to Nodal Officer Dr Pradeep Rana, all three who tested positive belong to the same family and have been quarantined. Contact tracing of the infected patients is underway.

17 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.

Recently, Mussoorie and Nainital have been in the news due to the heavy rush of tourists in the popular hill stations amid warnings about the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several videos and photos surfaced online in which tourists were seen openly flouting COVID-19 protocols and not following COVID-appropriate behaviour. Tourists were spotted in large gatherings without masks and minimal social distancing.

The Uttarakhand government has already sent back more than 8,000 tourist vehicles who were crowding hill stations like Mussoorie and Nainital, as it reimposed restrictions against the COVID-19.

The photos of the rush in hill stations were also displayed by the Union Health Ministry at one of its briefings and cautioned that the second wave of COVID-19 is not over yet. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too expressed concern about people rushing to tourist spots during his interaction with the chief ministers of the northeastern states. 

Meanwhile, after tourists flouted COVID norms at Mussoorie’s Kempty Falls, the Uttarakhand government also announced that only 50 visitors will be allowed at the waterfall and they can not stay there beyond half an hour.

The local administration also said that tourists planning to visit Mussoorie from outside Uttarakhand will now need a negative report of an RT-PCR COVID-19 test.

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.

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