River rafting activity, which resumed last month after nearly seven months in Rishikesh, has suffered a major blow with a total of twenty river rafting guide personnel found Covid-19 positive in the past two weeks.
On Thursday, sixteen rafting guides tested positive for the disease while four guides had also tested positive in the last two weeks.
River rafting was allowed late last month with approximately 10,000 tourists and adventure seekers in the past four weeks flocking to riverside stretches in Uttarakhand’s Rishikesh adjacent to NH-58 Badrinath Mana-Ghaziabad highway.
According to block health in charge Fakot, Tehri Garhwal Covid-19 sampling is being done for the people involved in rafting in Rishikesh.
“As a precautionary measure apart from people involved in rafting, people involved in activities involving hotel, restaurant and guest houses are also being tested so that the chain of Covid-19 spread can be broken. In the last two weeks, 20 rafters have tested positive”, Dr Jagdeesh Chandra Joshi said
Dr Joshi said not only rafting and hotel industry personnel but tourists arriving and staying here should ensure adhering to social distancing norms, wear face masks, resort to regular sanitisation and consult doctors in case they feel Covid-19 related symptoms.
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Dinesh Bhatt, president of Rafting Association of Uttarakhand said that prior to the resumption of rafting activities, stringent measures were put in place by the association members like social distancing, sanitisation to lessening the number of people in a single raft.
“Covid-19 is a global pandemic so we are taking all possible precautions. We are adhering to guidelines and directives issued by the health department and the government to ensure reining in the spread of Covid as well as testing of all guides and related personnel. Rafts are being sanitised on a regular basis and all personnel involved and rafters on board have been mandatorily directed to wear face masks,” said Dinesh Bhatt.
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