Covid protocol goes for a toss at Mahashivratri celebrations

Panchkula records 65 new cases; 527 more vaccinated.

Despite Panchkula reporting a spurt in Covid-19 cases, Mahashivratri was celebrated in the district with great fervour and no Covid protocol in place on Thursday.

Social distancing was thrown to the winds with people gathering in hordes without masks.

“We had expected the numbers to remain low this time due to the fear of Covid. But lines started forming outside at around 10 pm in the night itself…hundreds if not more are visiting the temple at a time. The waiting lines outside are two kilometer long. With such a huge crowd in such close proximity, we fear we will definitely catch the virus,” said a worried priest at the temple, while talking to The Indian Express.

Even though Deputy Commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja had given directions for the festival to be observed with due diligence and all covid protocols in place, no check posts to ensure the same had been put up in the premises of Shiv Temple in Saketri.

In an order issued on Wednesday, Ahuja had directed that preventive measures including public health measures, social distancing, and wearing masks need to be observed by all at all times. “Apart from this, frisking and monitoring by police and medical teams will be ensued at every check point,” he had stated.

Case tally

Consistently witnessing a growth in positive cases, Panchkula reported a total of 65 new Covid cases and zero covid related death, on Thursday. Of the 65 persons who tested positive, 39 were added to the district tally while the rest were added to the outside count.

The active case tally stood at 331 today. The recovery rate Thursday stood at 95.6 per cent with 10,714 people cured.

A total 11,194 positive cases have yet been reported in the district, with an added 3451 persons testing positive from other districts as well. As many as 149 people have also succumbed to the disease.

Vaccination drive

Panchkula on Thursday vaccinated a total of 527 persons against a target of 900.

As many as 510 citizens received the jab , along with 17 healthcare workers out of whom 16 received the first dose and one received the second dose.

An achievement rat of 56.67 per cent was recorded among the citizens. As many as 24,579 people, including 7,523 healthcare workers, 7,468 frontline workers and 9,588 citizens have yet been given the vaccine.

The vaccination took place at nine sites. On Friday, the drive will take place at 28 sites.

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