While the entire world is striving to defeat the fatal coronavirus, Sikkim seems to be the only state have already won the battle by having zero COVID-19 cases to date, gratitude to the proper precautionary measures.
The hilly Indian state shares a border with China and in that case, it was on high alert and issued the mandatory screening at all borders and it is one of the first states to start screening. The state ordered a ban on foreign tourists on the 5th of March when the tourist season was just about to start and the highly maintained caution of the people out there has helped them to stay away from the infection.
Quite a long before when the state government announced the countrywide lockdown Sikkim had already started following the required steps; it didn’t wait to get announced to start compulsory border screening. Sikkim itself started taking precautions when in other countries coronavirus was already inflating.
The main reason behind this success is the fact that officials had been acted very quickly in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, beginning to shut down the state from the world at large weeks before the Centre imposed the nationwide lockdown from March 25 as well. On the 2nd of March, the administration stopped allowing permits for traders at Nathula pass.
The Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang called for a meeting with all the owners of hotels, lodges and the homestays and also set a March 17 deadline for all tourists to leave the state. However, on 17 of March, Prem Singh Tamang issued a directive that entry of tourists would remain banned till 15 of April and all educational institutes along with the public places would remain closed until further notice.
Students belonging from the state of Sikkim studying outside such as Kota, Delhi, and Kolkata, Bangalore were asked to stay put in the respective cities during the lockdown. The state government has transferred 1,500 such students a one-time allowance of Rs 5,000 to help them and get tide over the situation. Around 123 patients who went to places such as Delhi, Vellore, Siliguri, and Kolkata for the treatment, have been provided of Rs 30,000 per head. OP Dhakal stated, “We have been successful in warding off coronavirus because the chief minister was prompt and proactive”.
“We will have to help overcome the effect of the lockdown. That’s a challenge. However, we will carry on with a strict screening and rapid testing” the chief minister added.
Prevention is better than cure – and this has been proved to be a savior for this northeastern state. Others should also follow these axioms to stay away from the virus.