Shimla | Jagran News Desk: The Himachal Pradesh government on Sunday extended the restrictions in Lahaul and Spiti district till 6 am on May 17 amid fears over the second COVID-19 wave and announced that only essential services will continue during the restricted period.

It, however, said that shops and stores dealing in essential services can function only from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm. The Himachal Pradesh government also said that plying of private vehicles will be allowed only for medical emergencies and COVID-19 vaccination.

Earlier on Saturday, the Himachal Pradesh government had also suspended public transport till further orders in wake of the rising coronavirus cases in the state. The decision was taken after Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur chaired a high-level meet to review the situation in the state.

Thakur had also held a crucial telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to discuss COVID-19 situation in the state. In a Tweet in Hindi, he informed about his conversation with PM Modi and said, "he updated the Prime Minister on what the state government is doing to provide oxygen to Covid patients, the status of hospital beds and the vaccination drive".

He also inaugurated two oxygen plants at medical colleges in Hamirpur and Chamba on Sunday said that the state government has taken up the matter of increasing the oxygen quota for the state from the existing 15 MT to 30 MT with the Centre so as to meet the demand of the state.

"Both these oxygen plants would ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to the patients admitted in both these medical colleges," Thakur was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The state has been seeing a spike in its daily cases. On Saturday, it reported its sharpest single-day spike of 5,424 COVID-19 cases that took the infection tally to 1.28 lakh. Meanwhile, 37 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,817.

Himachal Pradesh has 31,893 active COVID-19 cases while 94,586 patients have recovered from the infection. The state at present has a positivity rate of 28.97 per cent, as per the Himachal Pradesh Health Department.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma