Manali: Barring 52-year-old Bhushan Thakur, all residents of Thorang village of Lahaul valley in Himachal Pradesh have tested positive for coronavirus.

The Lahaul-Spiti valley has become the worst-affected district in the state in terms of population ratio.

The outspread is being linked to a religious programme which was held a few days back. The social gathering is being blamed for the community transmission, sources say. People from the surrounding areas are also feared covid-19 positive, a report in The Times of India said.

The surge in cases in Lahaul valley has forced the administration to restrict tourist movement to Teling nullah near the north portal of the Rohtang tunnel. Tourists were not allowed to enter Lahaul villages on Thursday. The villages beyond the tunnel have been turned into containment zones.

According to officials, Thorang village along the Manali-Leh highway has just 42 residents as most people have migrated to Kullu for winter. The villagers had voluntarily decided to get tested a few days back. Of the total 42 samples, 41 tested positive.

“I am staying in a separate room and have been cooking my meals for the last four days. I was with my family members until we got to know about the results. However, I was strict about the protocols like sanitising hands, wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing in public areas. People should not take this disease lightly,” Bhushan, whose five family members tested positive reportedly said.

Mass infections in Spiti villages too have become a matter of concern. In Spiti, 39 residents of Rangrik village tested positive on October 28. Some 19 persons in tiny Hurling village of Spiti have also tested positive.