Total number of COVID-19 cases in Sikkim now stands at 1,076 Credit: Representational Image

Gangtok: Alkem Pharmaceutical Company, located in Samardung in South Sikkim, recorded a whopping 142 COVID-19 positive cases on Friday, the highest single-day spike in Sikkim so far.

The pharmaceutical company had previously recorded 18 positive cases. There were also many others with symptoms who were sent to Namchi District Hospital and STNM Hospital. There are fears of the pharmaceutical company recording almost 200 positive cases, informed the South Sikkim district administration.

There are 80-odd samples that are being tested at the VRDL lab in STNM Hospital, with 40 expected to be from Alkem Pharmaceutical Company, informed the district administration.

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Two other pharmaceutical companies also recorded COVID cases, with two being from Swiss Garnier in South Sikkim and one from Zuventus in East Sikkim.

With the highest single-day spike, the state tally has reached 1,076 so far, with 494 actives cases and 581 cured or discharged. There are over 100 samples pending for RT-PCR testing at VRDL lab in STNM Hospital, informed the state health department.

Elsewhere, 29-odd workers escaped the guest house of the Alkem Pharmaceutical Company on the night of August 10 who were neither symptomatic nor tested.

“They escaped on the night of August 10 reaching 20th Mile via a bridge crossing River Teesta, to reach Rangpo border and escape from the state. They exited Rangpo normally, they may have lied where they had come from. We received information from company management on August 11,” stated Namchi SDM Chiran Rizal.

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Meanwhile, up to 292 workers of the factory have been housed in a contained guest house, a four-storey facility, within the factory premises, the SDM said. “The entire factory premises have been sealed and there is no chance of spread outside. Once the first case came, we sealed the building; neither the company management nor the district administration were able to enter the premises,” he added.

The pharmaceutical has around 2,500 employees, while the 300-odd inmates in the guest house underwent testing compulsorily, once the cases started to come. It was from the same guest house where they were staying.

There were around 300-400 workers in the factory working amidst the lockdown. Now the production has been completely shut.

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