Sikkim quarantines itself, seals borders, bans entry of outsiders as coronavirus fear spikes

Even domestic tourists will not be allowed entry from Tuesday and those who are already in the state have to leave immediately
Tourists in Sikkim have ben asked to leave the state immediately.(AFP)
Tourists in Sikkim have ben asked to leave the state immediately.(AFP)
Published on Mar 16, 2020 08:26 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Siliguri | By

Sikkim will not allow entry of people, including tourists and migrant labourers from other Indian states from Tuesday and seal three out of five entry points to prevent the likely spread of coronavirus, chief minister Prem Singh Tamang said Monday.

The decision comes 10 days after the Himalayan state banned entry of foreigners.

All educational institutes, hotels, casinos, pubs, discos, movie theatres, gymnasiums etc will remain closed till April 15 and no public gathering will be allowed in the state.

Addressing a press conference, chief minister Tamang said even domestic tourists will not be allowed entry from Tuesday and those who are already in the state have to leave immediately.

He said that out of five entry points, two that connect Sikkim with West Bengal and one that connects it with Nepal have been sealed.

Only goods vehicles carrying essential items and food from West Bengal will be allowed through the Melli and Rangpo entry points but screening will be intensified, the CM said.

“Only goods vehicles carrying essential items and food from West Bengal will be allowed through the Melli and Rangpo entry points but screening will be intensified,” the chief minister said.

A statement issued by the Sikkim government said, “Sikkim has not reported a single case of COVID-19 till date and the government is taking all possible measures to prevent an outbreak.”

Quarantine facilities have been set up at all state-run hospitals as well as the army hospital. The tourism guest house at Rangpo will be converted into a quarantine facility.

The chief minister appealed to the people to avoid leaving Sikkim unless there is an emergency.

Pharmaceutical companies and industrial units will be requested to shut down in public interest, Tamang said.

On Monday, the number of coronavirus positive cases in India rose to 114 with Maharasthra topping the list of infections.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    I am working with Hindustan Times since 2001 and am posted in Siliguri, West Bengal, as Principal Correspondent. I have been regularly covering vast area of northern parts of West Bengal, Sikkim and parts of Nepal and Bhutan.

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Monday, May 23, 2022