Gangtok: With Sikkim registering its first COVID-19 death, and another death suspected to be due to the virus, and amid rising cases from various COVID hotspots like Rongli and Rangpo in East Sikkim, the state government has extended the ongoing lockdown till August 1.
Sikkim had decided to go for a week-long lockdown from July 20 till July 27; however, the state saw a surge in cases from Rangpo and Rongli, identified as COVID 19 hotspots, including the biggest single day spike of 108 cases on July 22.
Speaking with EastMojo, East Sikkim district collector Raj Yadav said, “There is still a surge in cases and following the two deaths, the lockdown has been extended. The funeral proceeding in Rangpo which has resulted in most number of cases in East Sikkim and as far as Timurbong in West Sikkim, we fear that many people are not coming out to declare themselves as being exposed to the virus at the funeral in Rangpo, hence to curtail the spread and surge in cases, we have opted to extend the lockdown”.
Speaking with EastMojo on Saturday, health director General Dr Pempa Tshering Bhutia had admitted, “Patient Zero, who has been the reason for the rapid spread in Rangpo and Rongli, may have attended the funeral. It is learned that one person, who later tested positive, was ferrying people coming to the funeral in his vehicle. He had dropped people at Chanatar, Mining, Mazitar and even Mamring, thus cases have been registered from all these places. He may be the patient zero who led to exposure of so many people to the virus”.
East Sikkim DC Raj Yadav added: ”We may extend the lockdown until the spread of virus at a community level is contained.”