INDIA – Amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the state of Uttarakhand has been reeling under the effects of another tragedy. For the past four days, the state has been burning up as wildfires break out in different regions of the Uttarakhand. So far since the beginning of the year the state has had to deal with 46 wildfires which have affected over 51.34 hectares of forest land in the state putting to danger the wildlife species residing in the forests.
Around 21 instances of forest fires have been reported from the Kumaon region of the state alone, making it one of the most hard-hit regions in the state. The Garhwal region has witnessed 16 incidents of forest fires and the reserve forest area has witnessed 9 incidents of forest fires. The estimated losses incurred by the forest department owing to the wildfires has been estimated to be around Rs 1.32 lakh. Two people have also lost their lives owing to the wildfires, while one person is reported to be injured due to the wildfire.
Coronavirus in Uttarakhand
Meanwhile, on the pandemic front, thirty-two people tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttarakhand on Monday, taking the total in the state to 349, officials said. The number of active cases stands at 284, while 58 patients have been discharged after recovery so far, a state Health Department bulletin said.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat while responding to the soaring cases said that the COVID-19 cases have risen in Uttarakhand after the return of migrants but the government was fully prepared to deal with the situation. The chief minister held a meeting with senior officials in Haldwani to review the situation in the state, especially in Nainital district, which has reported 117 cases so far.
“It was our decision to bring back migrants. As it was clear that the cases will rise after the start of the process, we have been preparing in advance to deal with the spike,” Rawat said. The chief minister added that people who have been quarantined must strictly follow the rules and guidelines issued by the government.