Sikkim, April 29: Sikkim government offices will remain shut till May 7 amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state. The government clarified it was not announcing a lockdown.

The Sikkim government had earlier announced the closure of its offices until April 30. However, considering the trend of 100+ COVID-19 positive cases in the state each day, Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay announced an extension to the closure of all government offices on Thursday.

The notice said “the State Government had announced the closure of all State Government Offices, including Public Sector Undertaking (PSUs) throughout the State till 30th April 2021. Now, after careful consideration, it is decided to extend the date of closure to 7th May 2021. The Departments and officials engaged in essential services like Health, Police, and Fire Services, etc. shall continue to function. During this period of closure, the Government vehicles, other than those engaged in essential/emergency services, shall not be allowed to ply on the road except for medical or other emergencies.”

The decision came a day after Sikkim recorded its all-time highest number of COVID-19 cases with 151 cases reported on April 28. At present, there are 1,106 active cases in the state.

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Earlier, last week, the government announced that all educational intuitions will remain closed till May 31 and offices till May 3 in Sikkim. Inter-state movement of vehicles will be also be restricted barring emergency and essential services. There will be strict restrictions on the issue of vehicle passes to check unnecessary movement. All e-passes issued in the past are now invalid. Construction works have also been banned till May 3.

Some relaxations were have been allowed for MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) works, agriculture, the government permitted industries and activities. These however come with some riders, MGNREGA workers are to restrict their activity within the confines of their private holdings/farms.