Gangtok: Sikkim on Friday recorded its highest spike in COVID-19 cases so far as 420 more persons tested positive for the novel coronavirus. With this, the COVID-19 caseload in the Himalaya state has spiked to 14,634.
There are currently 3,794 active cases in the state.
Eighty-five monks from the Rumtek Monastery were among the 420 fresh COVID-19 cases reported on Friday. Rumtek Monastery, also called the Dharma Chakra Centre, is a gompa located on hillock overlooking state capital Gangtok.
The 85 monks tested positive from 219 RT-PCR tests that were conducted at the monastery. The development came a day after 122 monks tested positive for the coronavirus at Nyingma Institute in Lingtam, Martam, 4.5 km from Rumtek Monastery.
EastMojo had reported earlier that close proximity and mutual exchanges between monks is being speculated as one of the reasons for the spread even though the institute doesn’t come under the monastery.
In all, 311 monks have now tested positive for COVID-19 at five monasteries in the state over the past one week. These include 122 from Rumtek Monastery, 122 from Nyingma Institute in Martam, 61 from Gonjong Monastery and five from Nor Monastery, both in Gangtok, and two cases from Lingdum Monastery. All these monasteries are around Gangtok in East Sikkim.
Meanwhile, East Sikkim district crossed the 10,000-mark with 235 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 10,170.
Overall, the state recorded 6,682 cases in May so far, taking the cumulative tally to 14,634 in the state.
The reason for the sudden spike in cases, as pointed out by many heath experts, is the scaling up of COVID-19 testing in the past week.
As many as 1,422 tests were conducted on Friday, of which 987 were done on RT-PCR resulting in 353 testing positive.
Similarly, 429 rapid antigen tests were conducted during the day, of which 66 tested positive for the coronavirus. Of six tests conducted on CBNAT-TRUENAT, one tested positive for COVID-19.
South Sikkim also recorded a huge surge in COVID-19 cases at 136 on Friday. Of this, Nalik village in Sanganath GPU in Rabongla recorded 52 cases. The village had recorded 38 cases a day earlier. Health authorities are now saying it could be a community transmission in the village.
As many as 1,362 cases have been recorded from the district in May. The number of cases here has doubled taking the district tally to 2,573 cases so far.
West Sikkim recorded 47 new cases taking the overall tally in the district to 1,427.
North Sikkim recorded two new cases taking the district tally to 252.
Meanwhile, the death toll has become a cause for concern as the state has recorded 243 deaths due to the coronavirus so far.
On Friday, three fatalities were recorded in the state, of which two were from Central Referral Hospital (CRH) and one from STNM Hospital, taking the tally in the institute to 182 deaths so far.
There are 235 patients admitted in different hospitals of the state. Of these, 159 are in STNM Hospital, 64 in CRH, 12 in Mangan District Hospital and two in Geyzing District Hospital. There are 25 patients in ICU of which 14 are in STNM Hospital and 11 in CRH.
Up to 225 patients are in the seven COVID Care Centres of the state. As many as 3,302 patients are in home isolation, of which 1,866 are in East Sikkim alone.