Hon’ble Governor of Sikkim Shri Ganga Prasad today convened Second Review Meeting with the State Government on the current status and Sikkim’s plan of action against the spread of global pandemic COVID 19 at Raj Bhavan. Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang, Hon’ble Minister for Health Dr M.K. Sharma, Chief Secretary Shri S.C Gupta, Director General of Police Shri A Shankar Rao, Addl. Chief Secretary to Governor Dr K Jayakumar, Principal Secretaries of Health and Labour Departments, Secretary of Health Department and other officers were present on the occasion.
The meeting began with the appraisal of the latest report and action taken by the State Government in view of the ongoing lockdown and its impact on the lives of the common man. Sikkim is among the three states in the country with Zero Corona positive cases as on 8th April 2020, and the meeting deliberated on the possible measures and restrictions to be put in place to keep Sikkim safe.
Hon’ble Chief Minister apprised that the situation is normal in the State and the government has given utmost priority on equitable distribution of relief material to the intended beneficiaries.
Despite some issues of transportation of some essential ration component and sudden rise in the number of beneficiaries during the process of distribution, the government is taking all necessary steps to ease the hardships being faced by the people during lockdown period. He also informed that in view of likely extension of lockdown period in the country beyond 14th April in the backdrop of a sudden rise in cases of COVID 19 over the last one week, State government is taking some necessary measures as under;
1. All educational institutions will continue to remain closed until situation normalises.
2. A buffer stock of all essential commodities including health consumables is being maintained.
3. The government will continue to keep the highest vigil at the border checkpoints and restriction of movement will remain in force even if the neighbouring states lift the lockdown.
4. The partial relaxation of lockdown norms if any within the State after the stipulated time will be in line with the guidelines issued by the Union Government with strict compliance on social distancing.
5. Financial assistance has also been extended to Non-Sikkimese students currently residing in Sikkim and studying at Sikkim University.
6. 55 Sikkimese students who were in facility quarantine at SICUN Assam Lingzey are being transported to their respective homes after completion of the quarantine period.
7. People of Sikkim have extended full cooperation in the government’s efforts in the enforcement of lockdown and have shown the highest degree of awareness, resilience and self- restrain.
Hon’ble Governor during the meeting urged the State Government to expedite the process of setting up of Testing Lab for COVID 19 in the State so that early detection and treatment of COVID 19 patient in the event of its occurrence in Sikkim. Hon’ble Minister for Health informed that the process has begun and State government has given top priority in establishing the testing facility in collaboration with ICMR.
Hon’ble Governor further suggested that State Government should take the highest precaution, strengthen its mechanism and its preparedness to tackle COVID 19 to prevent it from entering Sikkim. This has become all the more important since there has been a rapid increase of COVID 19 positive cases since the beginning of April. He further urged the government to take the interest and welfare of vulnerable section of our society into the highest priority in view of the likelihood of the lockdown period getting extended beyond the 14th of April.