Gangtok: Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the state, the Sikkim government on Saturday extended the ongoing complete lockdown till 5 am on May 31. Earlier, the lockdown was scheduled to end on May 24.

However, passengers going to Pakyong Airport to board a flight or returning after a flight shall be allowed to travel only if they present a valid ticket. Exception has also been made for commuters travelling from Bagdogra Airport and New Jalpaiguri Railway Station in neigbouring West Bengal.

A negative RT-PCR test report, obtained 48 hours prior to entry in the state, along with paid quarantine for 10 days on the failure of producing the report, will continue to be required to enter the state.

Among the new exceptions made on Saturday, Temi Tea Estate will now be operational with 50 per cent workforce. Sikkim Manipal Medical College will also be allowed to conduct examination, with students and faculties being allowed to commute on the production of valid ID.

Exception will also be made for those engaged in production of medicines, medical equipment, oxygen and allied sectors.

Recently, protests broke out in a few pharmaceutical companies after their workers tested positive for COVID-19. The state government had notified that pharma companies would work with 50 per cent workforce but the order was withdrawn on May 19.

Also read: Sikkim declares black fungus as notifiable disease

Pharmacies will remain open. Milk vending shops will be permitted from 8 am to 11 am. Those going for testing and vaccination will have to provide valid documents.

As part of complete lockdown, all state government offices, shops including grocery outlets, private commerical establishments, institutions, markets, gymnasiums and factories, shall remain closed.

Central government offices shall operate as per the instructions of the government of India. Staffers will have to carry valid government ID for travel.

All activities, congregation and movement of people, goods and passenger vehicles and two-wheelers shall be prohibited. Exception will, however, be made for passenger vehicles and movement of people for essential goods like milk, vegetables, food items, animal feed, petroleum products, medical supplies and LPG.

All such persons and officials will have to carry a valid ID card or deployment letter with movement confined to normal working hours.

Further exception will be made for people and vehicles required for maintenance of all essential services such as hospitals, veterinary services, telecom, banks, insurance companies, power supply, sanitation, waste management, water supply, urban services, post offices and social security institutions like old-age homes.

Sikkim on Saturday recorded 287 new COVID-19 cases taking the state’s tally to 12,521. There are currently 3,194 active cases in the state.



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