14 more tested positive in Sikkim Credit: Representational image

GANGTOK, June 12: In the biggest single-day spike, Sikkim witnesses 14 new positive cases among Mumbai returnees.

The cases include 9 from Bahai School Quarantine facility in Ranipool, 3 from Epica Gardenvin Saramsa and 2 from PNG School in the heart of the state capital

All 14 positive cases have been shifted to STNM Hospital, taking the State tally to 24 active cases. The 3 facility quarantine centres in East Sikkim has been declared as containment centre, informed State Health director general Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia.

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Out of 14 new cases, 11 are female and 3 male. 12 returnees from Mumbai and 2 from West Bengal. The youngest patient is 2 years 3 months.

Dr Passang D. Phempu, the Medical Superintendent at STNM Hospital, stated, “They have been isolated, they are all asymptomatic cases, they will be kept here for 14 days as per the protocol. The State tally could come to 22, as 2 women from South Sikkim were discharged yesterday. COVID-19 positive case 1 and 2 will get discharged tomorrow as they are all negative. After their second test in 24 they will be discharged.”

Dr. Passang asserted that they are not contact patients of any patient but fresh new cases. “As of now STNM isolation ward there is no tension, we will be able to manage the situation very well. We can handle 20-40 more cases with relative ease at the Hospital. We will be in a comfortable position for another one or two months, to handle the situation despite such a steady spike in number of cases. We have 2 isolation wards with 20 beds for male and female patients demarcated as wards”. He asserted that the numbers have now become irrelevant with a steady rise in the number of cases.

Health Secretary and Director General Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia stated, “The tests were completed at around 11:30 pm last night. All the contacts are being identified. All patients were picked up from different quarantine facilities late last night. We are expecting more positive cases today, and this was expected. The numbers could rise today as well. All were in Facility Quarantine, so it’s not a big concern of virus spreading outside. STNM has the capacity to treat more patients, and more tests are being conducted today. Once, the tests for all Mumbai returnees is carried out; the State will be in a comfortable position to handle the situation”.

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If the youngest positive patient is 2 years and 3 months, a senior paediatrician informed that in total there are three paediatric patients in the isolation ward. “Among the 14 that were brought yesterday, there are three children who have also been kept in the isolation. There are two patients who are under the age of 3 years while the other child patient must be 6 or 7 years. We need to keep the mother with paediatric patients, so we tried to keep them in a seperate section for mother and child. Treatment and procedure is all same, the guidelines are same”, informed a senior paediatrician in the Hospital.

“Among the 3 patients, 2 patients are with parents, one has mother negative, another has the mother positive with the child being negative. The positive child patient will need her mother, so we will keep her close to her child. They are stable, they are asymptomatic at present, we expect it remain the same”, it was informed.

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