The Sikkim government has decided to allow only those security personnel to enter the Himalayan state who test negative for coronavirus, a senior health official said on Saturday.
Rapid antigen tests will be conducted exclusively on security personnel, including those from the Army and the paramilitary forces, at the Rangpo border check-post from Saturday onwards, he said.
"Those testing positive for COVID-19 during the rapid antigen tests will not be allowed to enter Sikkim and will be sent back to quarantine centres from where they came," said Director General-cum-Secretary of the Health Department, Dr Pemba T Bhutia.
The measure comes after more than three dozen security personnel posted in the Himalayan state, bordering China, tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier, thermal screening was conducted on everyone including security personnel entering the state through the border check-posts. The rapid antigen tests, that give results faster, will be conducted for free for the first 15 days, he said.
Meanwhile, eight more people have recovered from COVID-19 in the state, the official said. Of the 121 COVID-19 cases in the state, 41 are active and 13 patients (Army personnel) have migrated to neighbouring West Bengal, while the remaining people have been cured of the disease, he added.