Gangtok: With the state imposing lockdown in Pakyong and Rongli subdivisions, Sikkim chief minister Prem Singh Golay said that a complete lockdown is not necessary. Speaking on the occasion of Student’s Rights Day at Manan Kendra on Tuesday, the CM also asserted on compulsory COVID-19 testing for all the ministers, since one of them came in contact with a COVID positive patient recently.
“It appears that a COVID positive patient from Rongli had recently come in contact with our rural management minister Sonam Lama and also met with the RMD Secretary, hence we have taken a decision on conducting tests on all our ministers and everyone who came in contact with them”.
Golay conducted a State Task Force meeting earlier in the day. Taking cues from the meeting, he said, “There was widespread suggestion on complete lockdown, but we cannot take such a decision that would hamper the economic progress of the state. A complete lockdown will have such adverse effect, so we have made consideration to impose lockdown in Pakyong and Rongli subdivisions only, which now has community spread from the GREF Camp towards Rongli and has spread among police and medical personnel locally”.
The state government also took the crucial decision of imposing no intra-district and inter-district travel from 6 am on July 15 till July 29. While taxis will be allowed to run on odd-even basis, there will be no permission to the private vehicles. While closing of bars (no mention on restaurants) and gyms will be imposed, mentioned the chief minister.
Despite the surge in cases among the Army, paramilitary and now GREF workers, the chief minister asserted how Army must be allowed entry in Sikkim. “We cannot deny entry to the Army and neither to the GREF workers, they are of importance to the Army along with keeping vigil along the borders. Similarly the SSB, ITBP and others must also be allowed but only after screening and Antigen Testing in Rangpo”.