The pandemic has forced citizens to stay home and indoors for quite a while now. However, after the lockdown being lifted and the number of cases declining the spots up north has been buzzing with people, coming in with extended family or friends. Spending time away from home was an attractive deal and the hotels up north also took advantage of this situation.
However, the result has not been fruitful. Weeks after Eid Mansehra District Administration (MDA) has reported 47 Covid-19 cases. Therefore, MDA sealed all hotels present within tourist hotspots in Shogran, Naran and Kaghan. In total 48 hotels, including 22 main business have been sealed and the patients have been quarantined in the hotels. Tracing and testing of suspected people are in process by the local health department and officials.
Separately, Kaghan Development Authority (KDA) on Sunday wrote a letter to MDA expressing that ‘smart lockdown’ must be imposed at five hotels and restaurants in Naran, namely Moon Restaurant, Pak Punjab Tikka House, Diwan-e-Khaas Restaurant, Cecil Hotel, and Mianmore Hotel.
However, it is noticed that many hotels have reopened after being sealed. The letter stated that “The KDA authorized officer lodged a complaint at Police Post Naran for lodging FIRS but the action is yet to be taken”, adding that any such negligence could lead to a failure in the efforts of the government in curbing the virus.
The same pattern was seen in KP tourists spots where 627,000 tourists entered the Hazara and Malakand divisions after the government lifted Covid-19 restrictions. The reopening of hotels has led to eight districts of Hazara Division experience a rise in Covid-19 cases. In the past 12 days after the reopening of tourism, Hazara division reported 372 new cases as compared to the 137 cases reported during the 12 days before the reopening, stated in the reports.
Raza Ali Habib, director-general of the Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) stated that during the last one week, 1000 tourists were tested and 25 had tested positive for Covid-19. He also said that the situation was not alarming yet a number of hotels and restaurants in Galiyat have been closed.
They have been testing according to their capacity and are making sure the SOP’s are followed at all times. A sharp decline in cases is also observed. However, they still appeal to tourists to cooperate to stop the spread of the virus.