Major North Indian states are at the peak of their summers. In order to seek a break from the heatwaves, tourists are rushing to Manali, Himachal Pradesh. With the slight relaxation in covid-19 restriction in several parts of the country, and due to the declining number of covid-19 cases, tourists have thronged Manali and other major hill stations.
On 5 July 2021, the government of India took it to Twitter to share the picture of a crowd in Manali to share the awareness regarding covid-19. They wrote, “Manali can wait, but virus won’t”. “Ensure that you maintain 2 gaj doori in order to keep yourself and others around safe”. “Slight relaxation in lockdown and you all went to mountains! The crowd in the hotels today can lead to an increase in the crowd in hospitals tomorrow!” it added.
The occupancy in hotels has increased by 50%in Manali. This crowd in the hill stations has brought amazing profit to hoteliers and business owners who are dependent on tourism for their livelihood.
On the other hand, such occupancy had also raised the concern for the third wave of covid-19. The photos from Manali are trending on social media with hashtags “third wave” and “Manali”.
Social media users are sharing memes and jokes as covid-19 and social distancing protocol has been ignored. One of the user @prathamNegi4 while sharing the picture of Manali, he wrote “Shocking picture from Manali. In search of peace, many will rest in peace”. Another user on Twitter @NimishJoshi_ writes “Corona loves the way humans forget the lesson from past experience”, @rishu_1809 writes “Different covid variants in Manali be like”.
One of the famous social media influencers Yuvraj Dua (@yuvraj.dua) shared the comic video regarding the same and captioned “Himachal allows tourists without negative PCR test and this is what happens”.
According to some social media users, one of the main reasons for tourists footfall is the withdrawal of the condition of negative RT-PCR report and e-covid pass to enter the state.
Although the major steps were taken by the Ladakh government, the government has made it mandatory for people wanting to visit Ladakh to carry their negative RT-PCR reports. However, the RT-PCR test result won’t be enough, as the visitor will have to undergo a rapid Antigen Test upon arrival.
On 5 July, Tuesday India recorded 34,703 new cases in 24 hours. This is the lowest spike of daily cases in 111 days. The country reported 553 deaths on Monday, the lowest since April 5. The continuous rise of tourists in Himachal Pradesh and violation of social distancing norms can give rise to the third wave of corona in India. Who knows the third wave of covid-19 could be worse than the second wave of covid-19.
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