Gangtok: Sikkim, which at present is struggling to bring down COVID positivity rate in the state, has declared that if any person in a ward or village tests positive, the ward would be declared a containment zone, and strict measures will be enforced to prevent further spread. In the case of urban or semi-urban areas or towns, the entire building will be contained.

The decision, along with many others, was taken at a high-level meeting on COVID-19 management on Thursday, led by Sikkim CM Prem Singh Golay. The meeting, which had the attendance of Health Department officials, has also declared a complete one month ban on all socio-religious and entertainment-related activities like marriage, pujas, birthday parties and other get-togethers, both in urban and rural areas.

Only in-house puja or rituals will be allowed in religious places. There will be a complete ban on visitors to any religious places or institutions.

Keeping in view the present situation, the practice of serving food and beverages during funerals and last rites will be restricted, mentions the state government’s press release. 

The meeting also decided to put a complete end to issuing special permits, other than for health and police personnel. Any relief work, social or medical service should be compulsorily routed through the district collectors.

Police will strictly enforce the odd-even rule for vehicles without any exception. Mass awareness on Covid appropriate behaviour will be upscaled. It was decided to enforce strict penalties on people and establishments violating COVID-19 guidelines.

Also read | Sikkim reports 137 new COVID-19 cases, 1 more death

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