Sikkim imposes week-long lockdown after continuous citizen appeals
Gangtok, July 20: The Government of Sikkim’s Home Department on July 20, announced a complete lockdown in the entire state with effect from July 21(6 AM) up to July 27(6 AM).
This week-long lockdown has been imposed by the State Government after reviewing and assessing the burgeoning number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state and has been undersigned by the Chairperson, State Executive Committee in the exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22(2) (h) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
This lockdown imposed by the State government will consequently close all government offices, shops, commercial establishments, educational institutions, markets, and factories while some specific exemptions have been granted. All educational, training coaching institutes will continue to remain closed till August 31. Restrictions have been put on many activities as well as congregations and movements of people and goods and passenger vehicles, while the following have been given exceptions:
- The movement of people and vehicles which include passenger vehicles required for the supply of essential services like food items, The police on duty shall seek the guidance of concerned District Magistrate, Sub-District Magistrate, or the Superintendent of Police in case they need any clarification for the same.
- Shops dealing with essential goods like rations, grocery hygiene products fruits and vegetables, meat items, medications, and other essential commodities shall be allowed to operate from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. while medical shops can remain open till 7 P.M.
- Movements of people and vehicles required for maintenance of all essential services like hospitals, veterinary services, banks, insurance companies, ATMs, power supply, sanitation, water supply, waste management, urban services, post offices, relief and rescue operations, media personnel accredited by IPR Department, social security institutions like old age home, Aganwadi Centers and other similar institutions or organizations run under Social Welfare Departments shall be allowed.
- Concerned officials\ persons should, at all times, carry with them and present for inspections on demand, the deployment letter or ID Card, to the police personnel on duty. Such movements should be confirmed to the normal working hours for such services.
- Movement of people and vehicles relating to emergency services including law and order, fire, relief and rescue, hospitals and COVID-19 management and quarantine centres related activities, army and para-military forces shall be allowed.
- Movement of vehicles and people (including private vehicles and taxis) required in case of a medical emergency shall be allowed. All relevant medical papers should be shown to the police officers on duty, on-demand, to facilitate permissions for such movements. The movement and vehicles and persons should be for unavoidable medical reasons.
- Inter-state movement of people, passenger and goods vehicles only for essential goods and supplies in authorized trucks, essential services, and medical emergencies or with authorization by the Authority. The DM/ East shall issue-specific instructions to regulate the same.
- Outward movement of goods carriers of pharma companies and empty trucks shall be allowed. Concerned DM shall regulate this.
- Social events like marriage are allowed not more than 20 people at the site with prior information to the local police and observance of social distancing norms shall be allowed.
- MGNERAGA work, agricultural, horticultural and Animal Husbandry related activities in rural areas, with the observance of social distancing norms, shall be allowed.
- Security services and courier services.
The District Magistrates shall issue orders under the law for enforcing night curfews from 7:30 P.M. to 6 A.M. and will also restrict and regulate the movement of people and vehicles and to ensure compliance with the norms that are existing of social distancing, public hygiene and the use of the Arogya Setu App. For containment zones, orders shall be issued as per the Government of India guidelines in their respective jurisdictions and ensure compliance.
This week-long lockdown has brought relief to many Sikkimese, as most establishments had already imposed self lockdown, and many on social media had requested the State government for the same.