Gangtok: Even amid the middle of a global pandemic, it seems people are more interested in preaching instead of practising. Take Sikkim, for example. Since April 3, the state has accounted for 595 new COVID-19 cases, with 536 active cases currently. But the Sikkim government is busy hosting a range of public events where social distancing is just for namesake. East Sikkim alone has accounted for 428 cases this April, with a majority from Gangtok.
Gangtok always ends up being the centre for all such public events be it the Ambedkar Jayanti, Baisakhi or Ramnavami. Or, as in this case, the state government’s Fish Mela currently underway at MG Marg since Tuesday.
Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay has led all such events over the past week where social distancing norms seem to ‘apply less’. There are hoards of officials and ministers who are attending such events. Elsewhere, any other gathering hosted privately should not involve more than 50 people, asserts various notifications of the government.
On Wednesday alone, 23 different locations in the state capital were declared as containment zones. To curtail the spread, micing has been one way of spreading awareness on ‘Do Gaz Doori, Mask Hai Zaroori’ (Two yards distance, a mask is mandatory). But while Sikkim Police is trying to ensure ‘Mask Hai Zaroori’ by imposing fines for such violations in public places, social media has been buzzing with visuals of mistreatment by the Sikkim Police.
Citizens argue that the rules are different for the public and government, highlighting how social distancing norms have gone for a toss. As events continue to happen, Gangtok slowly is growing into a hotbed for COVID 19 spread.