Following the odd-even scheme in the Leh town, only a few shops are opening in famous Leh Market | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Following a rotation system, only a few shops are opening in Leh Market | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
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Leh: The district of Leh recorded its first coronavirus case on 7 March after two pilgrims from Iran tested positive. After that, local administration mobilised its tracking and testing measures to contain the pandemic.

However, after more stranded passengers started reaching Leh, the district saw a surge in positive cases. As of 22 June, there were 847 reported cases in the Union Territory of Ladakh, of which 557 are in Kargil and 153 in Leh. Due to rising numbers, the Leh district administration swung into action and announced both a lockdown and a rotation system for shops to keep their limited business going.

Amid all this, Chinese incursions occurred at multiple places in Sikkim and Ladakh since early May. While the intrusion in Naku La was settled mutually by the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA (People’s Liberation Army), the stand-off in Ladakh took a deadly turn when 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed during a violent face-off in the Galwan Valley region on the night of 15 June. The constant clashes has seen a massive build-up of troops by both sides around the Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Pangong Lake areas. This has only added to the troubles of Ladakh’s people.

ThePrint journalists Sajid Ali and Sravasti Dasgupta, who are currently in Leh, show us glimpses of what life looks like in the Union Territory now.

There is a limited vehicular moment in Leh | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
There is a limited vehicular movement in Leh at the moment, as Covid cases are on the rise in the district | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Torn phern and broken schadilliras are seen hanging in some shops as many shopkeepers continue to shut their businesses | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
A torn pheran (the purple garment) and broken chandeliers hang in front of a shop in Leh. This is a common sight as many shopkeepers have continued to keep their establishments shut | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Thinlas Chron, 35, sell vegetables in Leh Market | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Thinlas Chron, 35, sells vegetables in Leh Market but doesn’t see as many customers everyday | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
People visiting the monasteries have to take every possible step to reduce the contact with people | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
People visiting Leh’s famed monasteries have to follow strict rules about hygiene and physical distancing. Masks are mandatory for all and photography is prohibited inside | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Since the pandemic has hit the town, every worshiping place has seen less number of visitors | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Places of worship across the district wear a forlorn, lonely look | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Mohammad Ali, 55, repair watches in the Moti Market. “Corona can be cured but lost lands to China can not be reclaimed,” he says | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Mohammad Ali, 55, repairs watches in Leh’s Moti Market. “Corona can be cured, but lost lands to China cannot be reclaimed,” he says | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Just 5 meters away is Moti Market, famous for Tibetain clothing | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Moti Market, which is usually bustling with customers and shopkeepers, is now deserted | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Tsering Lhamo sells porcelain crockery and cutlery. “Tuesdays and Saturdays are not enough but something is better than nothing” | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Tsering Lhamo, who sells porcelain crockery and cutlery, has made her peace with the steep fall in business. “Tuesdays and Saturdays are not enough but something is better than nothing,” she says of the rotation system | Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Dr Nordan Otzer, 38 from Nubra valley says that the real enemy is the terrain and weather around LAC “Neither India, not China” | Photo: Sajid Ali | ThePrint
Dr Nordan Otzer, 38, from Nubra Valley, says that the real enemy is neither India nor China, but the terrain and weather around LAC | Sajid Ali | ThePrint

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