Sikkim to go for week-long total lockdown from Monday, ration shops to be closed

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Gangtok, May 14 (PTI) The Sikkim government on Friday decided to clamp a complete lockdown across the tiny Himalayan state from May 17 to 24 keeping in mind the surge in cases even during the ongoing partial lockdown.

A Home Department notification said that ration shops, private commercial eatabliahments, state government offices, institutions, gymnasiums, markets and factories will be closed during these seven days.

Milk booths will remain open from 7 am to 11 am.

Units engaged in manufacturing medicines, medical equipment, oxygen and allied sectors will be open, while vehicles carrying vegetables, food items and other essential commodities will be allowed to move.

However, in case of medical emergencies, commercial and private vehicles will be allowed to operate after getting permission from the authorities.

Vaccination will also be carried out at different locations within the state.

Lockdown-like restrictions were imposed in Sikkim from May 6 and that will be in effect till May 16.

However, during a review of the situation on Friday, it was found that the average positivity rate of the virus in the state has continued to be more than 20 per cent in the last few weeks, an official said.

So, the government felt that there is an urgent need to impose stricter restrictions in the movement of people within the state, the official said.

Central government offices will operate with the orders issued by the Government of India.

No congregation will be allowed, according to the government order.

Violation of the lockdown rules will attract penal action, it said.

During the partial lockdown, all public gatherings such as weddings were not allowed while special permits for funerals and other emergencies were provided by the respective Block Development Officers and SDMs.

All business establishments throughout the state were allowed to remain open from 10 am to 4 pm and will remain completely shut on Saturdays and Sundays. PTI COR NN NN