With the count of novel coronavirus infection increasing in India, the local Shimla hotels are already having a setback as it is badly affecting the tourist-based income for the capital. The Queen of Hills, which usually witnesses a heavy tourist gathering at popular spots like Mall Road and Jakhoo Ropeway, is lacking a tourist swarm this season due to the coronavirus situation. Even now, the state capital, which usually witnesses a huge rush on weekends, has started wearing a deserted look and the locals can be seen wearing masks to prevent contamination. Tourism is the second major income source for the capital city of Shimla after the apple industry and with tourists cancelling their bookings for the summer season, hoteliers are worried. In the words of a hotel manager at the Mall Road, “There are not many enquiries from tourists this season as earlier, and moreover the occupancy rate has significantly dropped”.
Advisory Preventive Measures by Govt.
For preventive measures against the coronavirus situation, aside from the usual handwashing and mask-wearing instructions, the local government has set up regulations to be followed and isolation wards have been duly set up at some hospitals. Three suspected cases of coronavirus were isolated recently and the samples were sent for confirmation but the authorities are betting on negative results. The hotels are issued with advisory rules by the authorities and they are being heavily followed in the case of both Indian and International visitors. A health out-post has been created at Primary Health Centre, Mcleodganj in Kangra district and instructions have been given to examine people with acute fever onset, fever, cough and shortness of breath, at IGMC, Shimla. Moreover, as an extra step for healthcare precaution, ambulances with Personal Protective Equipment kit and masks have been fixed for transportation of suspected cases, and self-notification alerts by tourists are being ensured from the Deputy Commissioners Office.
Any Ray of Hope for Shimla?
The cases of coronavirus in India are mostly suspected and very few are deemed positive in the biochemical tests. According to a LiveMint news article, investors are not seeing coronavirus as a long-term epidemic and this worsening of the situation may ward off by the warm spring time like other seasonal flu effects. This might be a ray of sunshine for Shimla tourism as a snow-clad Shimla might see a double share of tourists this year once the coronavirus scare is out of the scope. It is always good to keep up the preventive measures but enjoying the beautiful Shimla in all its picturesque grandeur, is a must for the Winters.