Lockdown in Sikkim till July 27
The Sikkim government on Monday announced a total lockdown in the state from Tuesday morning to July 27 following a surge in the coronavirus cases.
The complete lockdown is being imposed in the Himalayan state for the second time since March 25. The first lockdown was eased gradually from the second week of May, but many restrictions continued to remain in place.
According to a notification issued by the state home department on Monday, all government offices, commercial establishments, markets and factories would remain closed, except where specific exemption is given, during the seven-day lockdown.
Movement of people and vehicles for supply of essential goods and maintenance of essential services and emergency services would be allowed. Shops dealing in essential goods would remain open from 8am to 5pm and medical shops till 7pm.
The government also imposed night curfew from 7.30pm to 6am during the lockdown and shutdown all educational institutions till August 31. “We would like to appeal to the people to strictly follow the lockdown guidelines. Strict action will be taken against those found violating the rules,” said a senior government official.
The decision to go in for the fresh lockdown was taken at a meeting of the State Task Force for Covid-19 in view of the surge in the number of positive cases in the past two weeks from 114 cases on July 7 to 318 on Monday.
The state, however, is yet to record a single Covid death.
The Sikkim health department also decided on a series of steps to meet the threat posed by the virus. They include shifting of the outpatient department of the New STNM Hospital, the state’s only Covid hospital, to the Old STNM Hospital, creation of a war room at the New STNM Hospital and setting up of more isolation centres at different places.
In north Bengal, 215 new Covid-19 patients were reported in the past 24 hours with the maximum cases of 81 in Malda district.
“While 215 new cases have been reported, 307 patients were discharged during the same period. At places like Siliguri, the number of new cases has come down. But there is always a chance of the figure going up if the lockdown is withdrawn,” an official said.