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Sikkim Health Secretary expresses concern over low turnout for COVID testing

GANGTOK: The Sikkim Health Department has decided to ramp up random testing process the state is witnessing low turnout of people for COVID-19 tests.

The announcement was made by Dr. Pemba T Bhutia, Director-General cum Secretary of Health Department

The Himalayan state is witnessing spike in infections and deaths from COVID-19 along with other Northeastern states, stated the Health Secretary.

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Citing the reasons for the spike, the Health Secretary said, “there are many reasons for this high positivity rates but one of the reasons is the sample size and less testing and if we do less testing there are chances of more positive cases which is due to fewer people are coming out for the testing and earlier when one person gets infected then the whole family comes for testing but now people are not coming out”.

He further added that the primary contacts in Sikkim are not coming out for testing and instead practicing self-medication to treat themselves at home.

During a high level meet with Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, it was decided that a complete ban will be enforced on all socio-religious and entertainment related activities including marriage, pujas and birthday parties and other get-togethers.

This rule will be applicable in both urban and rural areas.

Strict compliance of IEC and mass awareness on COVID Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) will be upscaled, stated Dr. Bhutia.

The state government has also decided to enforce strict penalties on people and establishments violating COVID-19 guidelines.

Speaking about the vaccination coverage, the Health secretary said that even though the positivity is high, the vaccination coverage is good in the state.

“We have now vaccination percentage of 86 percent which is good compared to other states so after intensified testing we will be able to bring down the positivity rate”, he said.

Sikkim COVID Tally

Sikkim, so far, has recorded 22929 cases of COVID-19 with 2322 active cases. A total of 20029 patients have recovered while 318 have succumed to the virus.

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