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Gangtok: Sikkim‘s health department in collaboration with Gangtok Mayor Nell Bahadur Chettri and Gangtok Municipal Corporation’s Lower MG Marg councillor Ashok Kumar Prasad conducted random COVID-19 testing of shopkeepers at Lal Bazaar, one of the most populated areas of state capital Gangtok.

Lal Bazaar, which houses the Sabzi Mandi, is frequented by residents from all over Gangtok for ration and other supplies.

While shopkeepers argued that they should have been notified prior to the testing, health officials claimed this was the only way of finding if Lal Bazaar was turning into a COVID-19 hotspot.

Even as the testing drive was going on, as many as 50 shopkeepers fled from one of the back gates refusing to get tested, said reports.

Also read: Sikkim HC questions govt on ‘lottery system’ for COVID-19 vaccination

Meanwhile, Gangtok Mayor Chettri declared that those without a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) report for COVID-19 will not be allowed to do business from Friday.

Those who tested positive for the coronavirus during the special drive on Thursday have been given the option of either home isolation or shifting to a Covid Care Centre if they lack the facilities at home.

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