BJP leader, woman staying near Raj Bhawan among 127 new COVID-19 cases in HP; tally at 2,177

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Shimla, Jul 26 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh reported its highest single-day spike of 127 COVID-19 cases, including that of a BJP leader and a woman residing near Raj Bhawan here on Sunday, taking the state's tally to 2,177, officials said.

Forty-one of the fresh cases were reported from Solan, 21 from Kangra, 18 from Shimla, 16 from Sirmaur, 10 each from Mandi and Una, six from Hamirpur and five from Bilaspur, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) R D Dhiman said.

In Hamirpur, BJP leader Vijay Agnihotry is among the six fresh cases. Agnihotry, Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) vice chairman and also a former Nadaun MLA, confirmed on his Facebook post that he has tested positive and appealed to all his recent contacts to home quarantine themselves.

He also took part in a Kargil Vijay Diwas function at Kangoo village on Sunday in which a number of people were present.

Agnihotry uploaded the information and pictures of the function in another Facebook post. A district official said health department authorities were actively tracing his recent contacts.

Among the fresh cases include that of a woman residing in Barnes' Court Stokes Place located near Raj Bhawan falling under Benmore ward.

The block number 9 in Barnes' Court Stokes Place has been sealed after sanitising the area, Benmore municipal councillor Kimi Sood said.

The councillor said the basic amenities of the people living in the sealed area would be looked after and they can call her or the Chotta Shimla police station for that if required.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) urban Manjeet Sharma along with his team also visited the area, she added.

In the meantime, the income tax office located at the Railway Board Building and the MBA department in Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) here have been closed till further orders as one each employee in these offices tested positive for COVID-19, a senior official said.

All the employees working in these offices have been asked to go on home quarantine, he said, adding that the contact tracing of these two COVID-19 positive patients was on.

COVID-19 has so far claimed 13 lives in the state, while 1,198 people have recovered and 15 migrated out of the state.

The deaths include that of a Delhi resident 70-year-old woman, who had been staying at a factory's guest house in Himachal Pradesh's Baddi since March 15, she died in PGIMER Chandigarh on April 2.

Meanwhile 25 patients-- 15 in Sirmaur, 6 in Kangra, 3 in Hamirpur and one in Una-- recovered from the infection in the last 24 hours, Dhiman said.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the state stands at 949.

Solan has the highest number of active cases in the state at 366, followed by 179 in Sirmaur, 94 in Kangra, 85 in Shimla, 70 in Mandi, 57 in Una, 24 in Chamba, 22 in Bilaspur, 20 in Hamirpur, 17 in Kinnaur and 15 in Kullu. PTI DJI KJ KJ