As states ease covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and tourist places slowly reopen, thousands of people are flocking to the hills to have a break from the heatwaves swiping the hills. One of the most prominent tourist places in this regard is Himachal Pradesh, as thousands of tourists are visiting Manali, as the daily coronavirus cases dip in the country which just last month was battling an unprecedented Covid second wave. The Himachal Pradesh government had announced last month about the easing of Covid-19 restrictions following which, tourists started to head to higher altitudes, especially to Shimla, Kullu-Manali, and Dharamsala.
Following the tourist migration, images of heavily crowded streets in Manali during the weekend started surfacing on the internet. As images of the heavily crowded streets in Manali popped up on social media, some users expressed concern and disappointment over social distancing and safety, while some users took a jibe sharing memes and jokes on them.
The latest to join the trend has been the Indian government, which too took to Twitter to take a jibe at the tourist crowd. Taking to social media, that expressed, “With the slightest relaxation, you go to the mountains. Today’s crowd in hotels can increase tomorrow’s crowd in hospitals. Negligence is not right, the epidemic is not gone yet."
The image shows a huge crowd of people, violating the covid-19 norms. The picture reads, “Manali can wait, but the virus will not. Stay safe, stay home."
#IndiaFightsCoronaलॉकडाउन में ज़रा सी छूट क्या हुई, आप तो पहाड़ों पर चल दिए! आज होटलों में ये भीड़ कल अस्पतालों में भीड़ बढ़ा सकती है।
— #IndiaFightsCorona (@COVIDNewsByMIB) July 6, 2021
However, News18 couldn’t verify the image that hasn’t been shared by many netizens on Twitter to raise alarm.
Earlier memes related to Manali trips amid the covid-19 pandemic flooded social media.
Shimla hotel and restaurant association president Sanjay Sood told PTI that the withdrawal of the condition of negative RTPCR report and e-Covid pass to enter the state gave a boost to tourist footfall. Mohinder Seth, president of Tourism Industry Stakeholder Association told, “The occupancy in the hotels remains between 60 and 90 per cent during weekends, while on other days it remains around 40-45 per cent."
Last month, videos of long serpentine queues of vehicles went viral on social media within hours of the opening of the border for tourists. Cops stopped vehicles to examine the e-pass of travellers arriving from other states, which caused the long queues.