Sikkim, July 14: In light of the increasing Covid-19 cases in north-eastern states, Pakyong Bazar in East Sikkim has been declared a containment zone, with effect from 14th July 5:00 a.m. to 19th July 5:00 a.m., to prevent further transmission of the infection.
Containment zone demarcation serves the same effect as lockdown and district classification, but on a micro-level.
According to the order issued by Ragul K., IAS, District Collector cum Chairperson of the Disaster Management Authority, East Sikkim, the 2-kilometre radius of Pakyong Bazar in East Sikkim “may become a probable hotspot of COVID-19 unless strict measures are taken immediately for the geographic containment of the concerned area as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.”
Further guidelines in the order include
1. The Incident Commander shall establish clear entry and exit points from the containment zone for strict perimeter control- All vehicular movement and personnel movement except for persons/vehicles involved in essential services (including banks), medical emergencies will be completely stopped.
2. All residents of the aforementioned area shall strictly remain under home quarantine till further orders.
3. All persons entering the containment zone shall compulsorily wear face masks/covers. There shall be no movement of any person into or outside the containment zone except in cases of emergencies. The movement shall take, place in case of emergency only after concurrence from Incident Commander.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated on July 13 that several north-eastern states have a high test positivity rate and urged governments to strictly enforce the micro-containment zone policy to prevent the spread of Covid.
Tourists have been crowding in Sikkim in big numbers since the state opened its doors to fully vaccinated travellers on July 5.
The state administration started allowing partially vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated children accompanied by vaccinated parents to enter through the Melli and Rangpo checkpoints if at least one member of their family has been fully vaccinated.
As well as unvaccinated children accompanied by vaccinated parents can enter through the Melli and Rangpo checkpoints if they produce a negative RT-PCR test result.
According to the order, if anyone fails to follow the guidelines, they will be held responsible and action will be taken against them under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, and this order.
Sikkim recorded 226 new cases of Covid-19 on July 13, taking the tally of confirmed cases to 22,623. There are currently 2,281 active cases in the state with a total of 317 deaths recorded till now.