All resident of Thorang, a village in Lahaul Valley, Himachal Pradesh, have tested positive for COVID-19 except for a 52-year-old Bhushan Thakur. After this, the Lahaul-Spiti valley in Himachal Pradesh has become one of the worst-affected districts within the state in terms of COVID-19 cases to population ratio.
This spike in COVID-19 cases has forced the local administration to restrict tourist activities around the Telling Nullah which is located near the north portal of the Rohtang tunnel. On Thursday, tourists were banned from entering any villages in Lahaul. All villages beyond the tunnel have been declared as COVID-19 containment zones, according to The Times of India.
According to officials, Thorang village only has 42 residents as most had migrated to Kullu to spend the winter season. All villagers got themselves voluntarily tested for COVID-19 a few days ago. When the results came one 41 out of 42 had tested positive for COVID-19, leaving Bhushan Thakur as the only COVID-19 negative person in the entire village.
"I'm staying in a separate room and have been cooking my own meals for the last four days. I was with my family members until we got to know about the results. However, I was strict about all protocols like sanitising hands, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing when in public areas. People should not take this disease lightly. As the winter season is setting in, people should take extra precaution," said Bhushan, according to the daily. All five family members of Bhushan have tested positive for COVID-19.
A few days before the diagnosis, the villagers had gathered for a religious ceremony, according to the daily. This gathering is being blamed for spreading coronavirus across the entire village. A large number of people in the surrounding areas also have COVID-19.
Dr Palzor, the chief medical officer of Lahaul-Spiti, said that his team have been requesting residents to come forward to get themselves tested for COVID-19. So far, around 856 people have tested positive in the district. Mass infections in Spiti villages have become a point of major concern for the administration.