Gangtok, July 16: Sikkim is no longer under lockdown but strict guidelines have been issued to curb cases of COVID-19. After a meeting with the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Principal Secretary of Home Department, and other dignitaries, certain decisions have been made.

After the meeting, it was decided that all socio-religious activities and activities related to entertainment will be restricted. This will include rituals, birthday parties, marriages, and other get-togethers in the state’s rural and urban areas. However, the funerals and last rite ceremonies can be conducted with restrictions in the practice of serving foods and beverages.

Awareness on Covid Appropriate Behaviours and IEC will also be upscaled and strict penalties will be paid by people who are found guilty of violating the COVID-19 guidelines. Further in the meeting, it was decided that special permits will no longer be considered, if not for health and police officials. Additionally, it has been decided that there will be strict monitoring of the odd-even rule for vehicles with no relaxation.

The containment measures have also been revised in the meeting. Starting now, the entire village or ward will be declared as a containment zone if any person in the village or ward tests positive for COVID-19. In the case of building in urban and semi-urban regions, the entire building will be declared as a containment zone. This has been done to prevent any further spread of the virus.

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All the relief work relating to social or medical services should essentially be routed through the District Collector of each district. Religious ceremonies or rituals will only be allowed in-house and a complete ban will be imposed on visitors to any religious place or institution.

After these decisions were made given the currently prevailing situation in Sikkim, Shri R. Telang, Principal Secretary, Home Department, ended the meeting with a concluding remark. Shri R. Telang thanked everyone including the Hon’ble Chief Minister for his thorough guidance and timely decisions.