As many as 24 rafting guides in Uttarakhand's Rishikesh have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, an official said on Saturday. According to Medical Officer Jagdish Chandra Joshi, nine of them tested positive for the infection through the rapid-antigen test and 15 others through the RT-PCR test on Friday. Nine of them are in institutional quarantine and 15 in self-isolation, he added.
The Uttarakhand government had allowed resumption of the trading activities associated with adventure sports in the state from September 26, but tourists did not always follow the social-distancing norms, Rafting Association president Dinesh Bhatt said.
An estimated 20,000 tourists have gone rafting in Rishikesh since September 26 and with 24 rafting guides diagnosed with the virus, the remaining 676 have also been asked to go for a COVID-19 test, he added.
Medical teams are conducting COVID tests at the camps in the Shivpuri and Brahmapuri areas of Rishikesh, Bhatt said.
Attributing the detection of positive cases among tourist guides largely to the disregard shown to COVID guidelines by tourists, Muni-ki-Reti police station in-charge RK Saklani said around 6,000 tourists have so far been fined for not wearing masks and not following the norms of physical distancing.
(With inputs from PTI)