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Sikkim govt announces 10-day lockdown in state to check spread of COVID-19

GANGTOK: The Sikkim government has imposed a 10-day lockdown from May 6 to May 16 in view of the COVID-19 situation.

The notification issued by the state home department in this regard read: “The average test positivity for COVID-19 cases in the state has been more than 20% in the last ten days, owing to which it is felt that there is an immediate need to impose restrictions on the movement of persons within the State.”

“In emergency circumstances, such as medical or funeral emergencies, the area’s Sub-divisional magistrate must grant permission on a case-by-case basis. Such individuals entering the state, however, must have an RT-PCR negative report completed within 48 hours of their arrival,” the order stated.

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The lockdown circular also states that inter-district movement of people or private and government vehicles is prohibited.
There will also be a ban on gatherings of more than five persons, with appropriate exceptions such as funerals.

Health emergencies and commercial goods vehicles would be permitted to travel between states with the same ease as army or security personnel.

The proof of such emergencies must be submitted to the on-duty police officers for review.
All persons and passenger vehicles, including private and government vehicles, shall be barred from entering the state via all checkpoints located at state borders in Rangpo, Melli, Reshi, Rammam and NTPC (West Sikkim). However, the prohibition does not apply to army and security personnel vehicles, necessary and commercial goods transport vehicles or medical emergencies.

Only the driver of a commercial goods vehicle is permitted to pass through the checkpoints. The goods vehicles must leave the same day.

Moreover, during the Sikkim lockout, vehicles and people would be prohibited from moving between 5 pm to 9 am, except for emergency purposes.

Between the hours of 5 am to 8.30 am, milk supplies, fruits, and other products, as well as building materials, can be loaded and unloaded.

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During this time, all commercial outlets must be open from 10 am to 4 pm on weekdays, with a full shutdown on Saturdays and Sundays. Medicine, ration, milk, poultry, and vegetable shops are exempted from the restrictions.

In contrast to the previous ruling on lockdown, which will be expired on May 7, all government offices and PSUs will remain closed till May 16.

Except for emergency duties, government vehicles would be limited as before.
However, vaccination for all above 18 years shall be undertaken in a phased manner.

“All government employees including teachers above 45 years of age shall ensure that they are vaccinated with at least first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 1,” the order added.

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