Surge in COVID-19 cases in Sikkim due to gross violations of lockdown guidelines: CM

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Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Monday said the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases was due to gross violations of lockdown guidelines by people and asked the police to take action against the violators. Presiding over a meeting of the State Task Force to review the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Tamang said lockdown guidelines must be enforced in letter and spirit to contain the spread of the virus.

The Himalayan state has witnessed a nearly six-fold increase in novel coronavirus infections in the past one month with the number of positive cases rising from 88 on June 30 to 545. “The lockdown guidelines must be enforced and implemented in letter and spirit,” the chief minister told officials.

The people of Sikkim must consistently abide by the basic guidelines laid down to contain the spread of the deadly virus, Tamang said. He said the state government was considering to allow some relaxations in the lockdown for resuming certain activities and emphasised that the people must abide by all safety norms.

Tamang asked officials to give adequate publicity to the toll-free state helpline number 104 so that a person coming in contact with infected people can seek assistance. The chief minister also directed for urgent mitigation of shortage of manpower in the health department and hospitals to deal with the pandemic.

The state reported its first fatality due to COVID-19 on Sunday with a 74-year-old man succumbing to the disease at the STNM Hospital.

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