Sikkim chief secretary SC Gupta directed that the SOPs followed by SSB, ITBP and BRO should be shared with the health department

Gangtok: Army jawans entering Sikkim amidst the border dispute with China have been strictly requested to share the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with the state health department. The decision came following three jawans testing positive for COVID-19 in the state. The jawans have been identified as belonging to Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

In a meeting convened by the state chief secretary SC Gupta on Wednesday, he directed that the SOPs followed by SSB, ITBP and BRO should be shared with the health department for vetting by the department’s technical committee. This was acceded to by the organizations.

All three organisations, including the Border Roads Organization, informed that their officers and jawans are being quarantined in Siliguri for 14 days and the remaining 14 days in Sikkim. Those who are found to be showing symptoms are isolated and tested immediately.

BRO informed that currently only their officers and jawans are entering the state, the labourers will be brought from August onwards. The health department would be informed about this, it was informed.

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It was further informed that the quarantine centres in Sikkim are well guarded and the quarantinees are not allowed to roam around freely.

SSB requested the health department to conduct random testing of the returnees. SSB was asked to send the request to the health department in writing.

The chief secretary also directed that the uniformed personnel in quarantine should, at no cost, be allowed to mingle with the civilian population, till completion of the period of quarantine. This will assist in avoiding the apprehension about the community spread of the COVID-19 infection. The officers present agreed to ensure in the meeting.

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