Amid rising tourist deaths, Ladakh authorities require 48-hour acclimatization

New Delhi: Ladakh authorities have now carried out a 48-hour acclimatization, to avoid acute mountain sickness (AMS), mandatory for tourists arriving in Leh before continuing their journey in the mountainous region, according to Indian Express.

The order follows 11 deaths reported in the past two months alone in the highest places of Leh, including Pangong Tso Lake at 4,225 meters above sea level, Changla (5,360 meters) and Khardung La (5,359 meters). meters). Of the 11 victims, four of them died in the first 10 days of June.

A total of 15 deceased tourists have died till June 10 this year and 11 of them succumbed to altitude-related complications. The number of tourist deaths this year was the highest in the last three years – the number for 2020 and 2021 was six and one, respectively.

To take stock of the situation, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Chief Advisor Tashi Gyalson called a meeting with officials and other stakeholders related to the tourism industry at the local level.

Gyalson asked stakeholders to comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) formulated by the district administration to manage visitors entering Leh during the peak tourist season, including their health condition properly, a India time says the report.

He also asked officials and stakeholders to organize joint awareness campaigns and IEC (information, education and communication) campaigns to sensitize locals working in the tourism industry.

According to Indian Express report, there has been an increase in the number of tourists reaching Leh by air, who have less time to get used to the weather conditions. Of the 3.14 lakh tourists who visited Leh in 2021, more than 2.14 lakh arrived by air. According to this year’s data, available through March, 97% of tourists traveled to Leh by plane. Due to the easing of restrictions imposed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of tourists visiting Leh over the past year has increased.

“Tourists start visiting high altitude areas the day they land in Leh or the day after. They feel like they are in good shape and nothing will happen,” said the THAT’S TO SAY report quoted an official as saying.

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