Kolkata, India: After months of Covid lockdown in India, tourists began to flock to popular destinations of Himachal after states relaxed lockdown as cases began to wane.
Results, Manali is once again bustling with tourists flocking to Solang, Vashisht, and the newest attraction, the Rohtang tunnel, after nearly 15 months of hiatus.
While the hoteliers are happy with most properties registering high occupancy, the crowded visuals from the tourist hotspots have had Twitter worried about an impending third wave.
AIIMS Chief, Dr. Randeep Guleria warned Saturday to embrace precautions as the third wave COVID-19 is virtually unavoidable in India, and that could break in withing 6-8 weeks.
“As we have started unlocking, there is again a lack of COVID-appropriate behavior. We don’t seem to have learned from what happened between the first and the second wave,” Dr. Guleria told media outlet NDTV.
According to a report, within a fortnight of the state government announcing Covid relaxations (on June 14), 23,900 outside cars had paid the Kullu Tourism Development Council’s green tax.
Taxi bookings and car rental too have seen an upsurge.
A big crowd was seen strolling the mall road (the leveled region of a mountain town) in photographs that are going viral on Twitter.
The visuals paint quite a contrasting scene, followed by the somber visuals of crying and wailing relatives near the cremation grounds from across India that made international headlines.
Memories of a brutal second-wave COVID-19 that wreaked havoc across the country following months of unbarred festivities and political rallies are still fresh.
Tourists from Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, and Chandigarh go to Manali for adventure sports including rock climbing, trekking, and river rafting in the Beas.
According to a PTI, the removal of the requirement for negative RTPCR reports and the e-Covid pass for entry into Himachal Pradesh has boosted the tourism business there.
Social media images show heavily crowded scenes in Manali’s downtown, where people in normal times flock for shopping, hanging out, and eating.
But Covid protocols kept the crows at bay until recently.
Hashtags like “third wave” and “Manali” were trending on Twitter with people expressing everything from joy, concerns, and of course memes.
“Corona loves the way humans forget the lessons from past experiences. #Manali (sic),” wrote someone is a tweet.
“In search of peace, many people will rest in peace. If the 3rd wave arrives and causes havoc then special thanks to these people. Covid appropriate behavior wasn’t followed because of which 2nd wave struck (sic),” another comment read.
Take a look at some Twitter-traditional memes:
India’s COVID-19 cases began to wane from mid-March with cautions of a third wave in the near future.