Gangtok, March 25, 2020:
A day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the nation to mitigate the threat posed by the COVID-19, it has come to light that several students from the hilly state of Sikkim are stuck in other parts of the country.
Now, these Sikkimese students have taken to social media as a last resort in order to appeal the Government to enable their homecoming. Alina Gurung, a Sikkimese student studying in Himachal wrote, “We the students of Abhilashi University, chail chowk, district Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (resident of Sikkim) would like to request you to please accept this letter so that we have the allowance to get back to Sikkim.”
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Gurung, in her post further adds that the Sikkimese students have been facing a lot of difficulties amid the lockdown. She further adds that none of the Sikkimese students have come in contact with COVID-19 positive patients and invites the Government to perform tests on them, if required.
Another student from Sikkim, Sushmita Chhetri, who is studying in Karnataka College of Nursing in Bangalore says, “we’re all stuck in here because of the ongoing curfew. Me and many other students have booked the flights on 25th and other following dates. Looking forward to the ongoing health crisis, we feel unsafe to be here, the cases have reached more than 30, shops are shutting down, meals have been reduced.” Chettri further adds that their state, Sikkim, which is yet to report any cases, is much more safer.
Another Sikkim girl who is pursuing nursing in Bangalore, Dri Sti NiRoula, writing to Jacob Khaling Rai, the political secretary to Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang, states: “I am from Sikkim currently pursuing B.Sc Nursing in Bangalore. We are stuck here our flight got cancelled and we don’t have any option rather seeking help.” She further adds that she is trapped in her hostel as the gates have been locked down for a week. “Now our only hope is the Sikkim Government. Hope you will respond to our queries.”
Meanwhile, the capital of the hilly State, Gangtok, has seen a lockdown early in the morning, with no one daring to venture forth onto the streets. No vehicular movement was seen and very few shops are open in the capital.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his second address to the nation within a week, has announced a complete lockdown across the country to contain the outbreak of the virus from March 25 onwards. The Centre has also allocated Rs 15,000 for the healthcare sector and added that the concern of the State Departments should be healthcare alone. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 continues to chug along at an unprecedented rate. Total cases of infections across the world have reached 422,945 and as many as 18,907 of the patients have succumbed to death.
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