Covid report, full vaccination mandatory for people entering Bengal from Sikkim
The district administration of Darjeeling in north Bengal has made it mandatory for all people entering West Bengal from Sikkim to produce either a Covid-19 negative RT-PCR test report or a double vaccination certificate.
This comes a day after the Himalayan state, which shares its borders with Darjeeling, reported at least 97 cases of the Delta variant.
“Darjeeling registered 79 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, which was the second highest number of fresh cases in West Bengal. North 24 Parganas recorded 82 cases, the highest in the state. Kolkata registered 60 cases,” said an official of the state government.
District authorities in Darjeeling issued an order on Tuesday which made it mandatory for all passengers entering West Bengal from Sikkim to carry either the vaccination certificate, or negative RT-PCR report conducted 72 hours prior or a Rapid Antigen Test negative test report conducted within 48 hours prior to arrival.
The order issued by Darjeeling district magistrate S Poonambalam will come into effect from Thursday. The neighbouring Kalimpong district in north Bengal, which also shares borders with Sikkim, is also likely to follow suit, officials said.
As Sikkim depends on Siliguri, the biggest town in North Bengal, for almost everything, the order has come as a major inconvenience for the people of the neighbouring state.
“One of the major reasons behind the high number of Covid-19 cases in Darjeeling is the presence of a large trading hub like Siliguri. Kalimpong, which is also a hilly district, recorded just 16 fresh cases on the same day,” said an official.
With Sikkim reporting prevalence of the Delta variant of coronavirus, state health minister MK Sharma said, “Delta variant was found in 97 of the 98 random samples sent for genome sequencing at Kalyani in West Bengal. The samples were sent on June 23 and we were informed about it via email on Monday.”
Sikkim has been reporting a large number of daily Covid cases for the past three months even as the fatality rate is only 0.59%.
Sikkim was one of the few states in the country to report Covid cases very late last year. So far, it has reported 325 Covid deaths. The state with 700,000 population has so far reported 23,796 Covid cases while the number of active cases is 2,462. On Tuesday, 147 new cases were reported.