In September, Uttarakhand removed the mandate of producing a COVID-19 negative certificate for entering the state. At the end of September, activities like flying fox, giant swing, river rafting and bungee jumping also resumed in Rishikesh. After the removal of the COVID-19 mandate, places in Uttarakhand, including Rishikesh, have witnessed a huge influx of tourists from neighbouring states. With the resumption of river rafting, over 20,000 tourists have visited Rishikesh. Now, what comes as a matter of concern is that nearly 30 river rafting guides have tested positive for the coronavirus after the increase in tourist flow. Read on to know the details.
30 River Rafting Guides In Rishikesh Test Positive For COVID-19
Uttarakhand has been witnessing a steady spike in coronavirus cases after reopening borders fully for tourists. The total number of cases in the hilly state now is nearly 65,279 with 1065 deaths. The government has been allowing tourists since September to revive the state’s economy, which has been badly hit by the pandemic. To boost tourism, the state government has taken various measures like offering discounts on workcations. Adventure activities like river rafting and flying fox resumed in Rishikesh in September end. After the resumption of these activities, Rishikesh received more than 20,000 tourists. The tourist inflow in Uttarakhand has increased since October. And in a month after the increase in the number of tourists, around 30 river rafting guides in Rishikesh have tested positive for COVID-19.
Rafts Are Allowing Only 4 People Now, With 2 Guides
According to a Hindustan Times report, the president of Rafting Association in Rishikesh, Dinesh Bhatt said, “Of around 700 rafting guides, around 30 have tested positive for Covid-19 in Rishikesh. We are taking all precautions and following the guidelines issued by the state government while entertaining tourists. Those who have tested positive are undergoing treatment and we have conducted contact tracing also for them.” Bhatt added that that social distancing is being followed in the rafts. One raft can usually carry eight people, but now only four people, along with two guides can board one raft.
This piece of news is an eye-opener, reminding that though tourism has resumed, the deadly virus is still spreading. So, be careful before making any plans. For now, enjoy this virtual tour of Manali from the comfort of your couch: