India has recorded 2,685 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total tally of coronavirus cases to 4,31,50,215. Meanwhile, the cases in Sikkim have dropped to zero.
According to the Union Health Ministry, the country also reported 33 more Covid deaths today, bringing the total number of Covid-related fatalities to 5,24,572. Currently, there are 16,308 active cases in the country, the ministry’s data showed. The active cases comprise 0.04 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.75 per cent, the ministry said.
Coming to Sikkim, the state has reported a total of 39,165 COVID-19 cases, and 37,966 patients have recovered thus far, while 747 migrated out of the state. According to the freshest report, out of the 84 tests conducted within the last 24 hours before the news of Sikkim being Covid free broke, Sikkim has registered no fresh COVID-19 cases.
The Covid death toll stands at 452 for Sikkim in the two years it has to have battled the virus. Sikkim reported its first COVID-19 case on May 23, 2020 after a 25-year-old student who returned from Delhi tested positive.
After a total of 2 people successfully recovered on Friday, the positivity rate dipped to zero. Meanwhile, the vaccination coverage has reached 70.26 percent for all age groups for the first dose and 52.75 percent for the second dose for about 11 lakh people, with approximately 50,000 people receiving the precautionary dose.
Speaking to Sikkim Chronicle Sonam Gyaltsen Bhutia, State IEC Officer, Health & Family Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim said that “all the health-workers from Sikkim have been labouring since day 1 in the field, from the Secretary level till the Ground level ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers”, Bhutia stressed that the roles of the health-workers has been monumental in Sikkim being covid free.
“The work is still being done, the hospitals are still fully functional and tackling the issue, the doctors are on duty for it, the staffs are all on hand and in the periphery the work against Covid 19 is still going on. Our awareness campaigns are still going on through our ASHA workers, and even through other departments the fight (against the virus is still on).” Bhutia said.
“Now to manage the cases (to keep it at nil or minimal) we need to do two things:
1. The vaccinations should be done in the right time, people should go and get vaccinated in their designated times.
2. Covid appropriate behaviours should be strictly followed.” He added.
A couple of months ago MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare), Government of India came out with a notification doing away with the disaster management act provisions that ruled over Covid-19 containment. The provisions were revoked from March 31.
The National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Home Affairs, on Wednesday 23 March, revoked the provisions of the Disaster Management Act for Covid-19 containment measures.
However, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) advisories on COVID containment measures like using face masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing would still remain in action.
Talking on the evident scenes in Sikkim where people have been seen to do away with the mask mandates Bhutia told Sikkim Chronicle that it was ill advised to do so.
“It is not advisable to remove masks (at this moment), a few months ago the Government of India came with a notification to do away with the DM Act but it didn’t say that you have to do away with Covid appropriate behaviours and number one in the covid appropriate behaviour is to wear mask.”
“Wear the mask in a good way and a proper way, and wearing masks aren’t just to shield from Covid but it helps prevent many other viral, bacterial and respiratory diseases (that can be contracted),” he added.
“If we follow the (appropriate) etiquettes one can protect themselves if there’s any other outbreaks. Since the vaccines don’t (entirely) protect us from covid but limit the damage dealt by it so following the covid appropriate behaviour is advised,” he further added.
Sending a message across to the people, Bhutia said, “prevention is better than cure, each person should keep themselves safe and take precautionary measures, only then everyone else can be protected, in turn the state as a whole.”
“Vaccinations are still going on in out designated Covid vaccination centres, right now we are using 3 kinds of vaccines, one is covishield, then covaxin, and covax, and I would appeal to the people to come forward in time and take the vaccine,” Bhutia informed. Informing about the less numbers of people (especially children) coming to get vaccinated and appealing to their guardians Bhutia told Sikkim Chronicle, “Because according to reports many have still not come to get vaccinated and the disparity is quite high, that is why I would like to ask the parents, teachers and guardians to let the kids know about it and send them to get vaccinated.”