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The Himalayan state of Sikkim will clamp a week-long lockdown from Monday amid a spike in Coronavirus infections across the country.
A notice issued by Sikkim’s home department on Friday said that a complete lockdown will commence from 5 am on May 17 and end at 5 am on May 24. Only emergency services will remain operational.
In 2020, Sikkim witnessed fewer cases than other states but the spike has been sharp this year with 31 deaths reported between Monday and Friday. Sikkim, which reported around 50 new Covid-19 cases in a day three weeks ago, reported 231 new cases and 9 deaths on Thursday. On Friday, the state reported 3,002 active Covid-19 cases and 6 deaths.
But the state, according to the Union health ministry data released on Friday morning, had a high positivity rate.
Sikkim’s North district has reported a positivity rate of 46.6% and increasing, East district has 24%, South district has 20.5% and the West district has 18.3%. Just four days ago, according to the Union health ministry, the positivity rate of the four districts ranged from 26.7% to 14.8%..
Sikkim’s lockdown rules prohibit meetings and movement of people and goods. Only people and vehicles involved in the movement of essential food items, LPG, medicines etc. have been exempted.
All state government offices, shops, ration shops, private commercial establishments, educational institutions, gymnasiums, markets and factories will remain closed for a week.
Medicine shops, medicine production units, oxygen suppliers and allied sectors have been kept out of the purview of the lockdown.
Central government offices will operate according to guidelines issued by the Centre.
Movement of passengers through Pakyong Airport will be allowed if they produce negative RT-PCR reports, the notice said.