Gangtok, July 18 (IPR): A joint press conference of Secretary Coordination, Secretary Transport, DG-cum-Secretary Health, Secretary IPR and ADGP Law and Order was held at the conference hall of Tashiling Secretariat this evening.
At the outset, Secretary IPR Department Ms. Namrata Thapa apprised the members of the media that the objective of organizing the press conference was to disseminate the detailed information about the steps taken by the State Government to tackle the prevailing situation, as well as the latest decisions taken.
Secretary Coordination, Shri Rinzing Chewang Bhutia highlighted the latest order/notification of the Home Department which was issued today after some key decisions were taken in the high level meeting chaired by the Hon’ble Chief Minister earlier today.
The Secretary also briefed about the visit of a high level team of officials to Rhenock and Rongli on17th July to assess the situation on ground.
The Secretary informed about some important decisions taken on the spot as immediate measures to contain the situation.
Shri. Bhutia also confirmed about the case of an employee of the Agriculture Department who was reported Covid-19 positive today. He said that the contact tracing was immediately started and testing of the primary and secondary contacts are in progress.
The Secretary appealed to the people not to panic as the situation is under control. He urged the people to go by the informed decision of the State Government.
DG-cum-Secretary, Health, Dr. Pempa T. Bhutia asserted that the Health infrastructure and manpower is adequately equipped to tackle the situation. However, to ensure that the facilities and manpower are used judiciously, the Government has decided to shift all asymptomatic cases, especially the patients from SSB, to the already existing quarantine facility centre, if the need arises. He added that the Doctors and health workers from the Government will provide care and treatment to these asymptomatic persons.
The DG-cum-Secretary stated that Rapid Antigen testing of all the primary and secondary contacts from Rongli and Rhenock is being done on priority. He appealed to the people to patiently wait for their turn to be tested and avoid overcrowding at the testing venue.
Dr. Bhutia also shared details about the latest case reported from Working Womens’ Hostel and all the primary and secondary contacts.
He called for continued support and cooperation from all quarters.
ADGP, Law and Order, Shri Akshay Sachdeva briefed about the Notification issued by the State Government today. He said that the Notification issued by the Home Department on 14th July was successful in bringing about certain discipline and control over the situation and the containment of Covid-19. He added that the Notification issued today has emphasized on certain relaxations, especially with regard to easing out the movement of people and vehicles.
He informed that the following major decisions have been taken today and is reflected in the Notification:
1. Rongli and Pakyong Subdivisions will continue to be under complete lockdown and existing arrangements will continue till further orders.
2. Intra-district movement of vehicles will be allowed within South, West and North Districts for Government, private, taxi vehicles and two-wheelers on odd-even basis.
3. For East District, Intra-district movement will continue to be restricted and existing arrangements (local level) will continue. However, as a slight relaxation, private vehicles will be allowed on odd-even formula along with Government, taxi vehicles and two wheelers. The guidelines to confine movement within the stipulated area (local area) should be strictly adhered to by all.
4. The relaxation on the movement of vehicles as mentioned above will not be applicable for Rongli and Pakyong Subdivisions.
5. The restrictions on movement will not be applicable for essential commodity vehicles/transport trucks and trucks carrying construction materials.
Secretary, Transport Department, Shri. Raju Basnet highlighted the difference between essential goods and essential services and the misconception that often prevails. The movement of essential services vehicles is allowed provided the ID card has to be shown by the drivers. He stated that the odd-even formula does not apply to essential goods vehicles and movement is free. Drivers of Goods vehicles from Siliguri should invariably return on the same day after unloading. In case if they are unable to return the same day, they should stay in the transit camp. He added that concerned authorities are keeping a strict vigil of the movement of the vehicles, their drivers and helpers.
During the briefing, the officers answered various queries put forth by the media in their interaction.