Gangtok: With the growing number of COVID-19 among army and paramilitary personnel, Sikkim’s chief secretary, SC Gupta sought information about the quarantine procedures by the armed forces in Siliguri, West Bengal.
This after 12 army men tested positive on July 3, while another 20 SSB Jawans tested positive on Sunday.
The Chief Secretary called a meeting with senior officers of Army, ITBP, SSB and GREF on Monday, emphasising the need for testing to ensure that cases are detected early. He suggested that each person lodged in defence quarantine centres in Siliguri be tested from the seventh day onwards instead of waiting for them to complete 14 days of quarantine. He further suggested the army and the paramilitary forces to immediately start randomised testing, before they travel to Sikkim.
Gupta also informed that the army and paramilitary forces would be tested mandatorily at the Rangpo check-post once antigen testing commences. He also suggested random testing of drivers and staff engaged in the transportation of essential commodities for the defence regularly.
The Chief Secretary categorically stated that Melli check-post has been sealed for entry of returnees. He said that the same would apply for the exit of the forces through the border check post. He requested the troops to use the Rangpo check-post route for both entry and exit.
The meeting concluded with the consensus of the defence officers on the decisions made.