Leh: Winter tourism activities in Ladakh, including the Chadar trek and the snow leopard sighting expedition, have been suspended in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the union territory, officials said on Sunday.
Ladakh has recorded over 1,500 new Covid cases and 13 deaths linked to the disease since November last year, with a majority of the infections being reported in Leh. In January, the union territory has recorded 288 cases and two deaths.
Ladakh’s COVID-19 caseload increased to 22,472 on Sunday as 59 more people tested positive for the virus, while the death toll stood at 221 163 in Leh and 58 in Kargil.
District Magistrate, Leh, Shrikant Balasaheb Suse has ordered the suspension of the Chadar trek 2022, snow leopard sighting expedition and other winter tourism activities in the district till further orders in view of the Covid surge, the officials said.
The Chadar trek or the Zanskar gorge is a winter trail in the Zanskar area of Leh. Traditionally, the only means of travel in the area during the harsh winter months, the trail has become popular with adventure tourists over the years.
The officials said the district administration suspended the tourism activities after consultations with all stakeholders.
They said Suse, who is also the chairperson of the district disaster management authority, has warned of punitive action if the directions are violated.