South District issues special guidelines in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases

South District issues special guidelines in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases

Gangtok, July 28: The office of the District Collector South, Ragul K. through the Land Revenue and Disaster Management issued an order regulating guidelines for social gatherings such as funerals, marriage ceremonies after assessing the ever-rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Noting that social gatherings, like the above, have become a potential risk of becoming hotspots if not regulated and checked as per the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, Government of India.

The following guidelines will be enforced into immediate effect in the entire area of South Sikkim and shall remain valid until further orders. The order states that this is being done to streamline the organization of such social gatherings.

For Funerals and Last Rites

  1. For the permission to conduct last rites/ funeral, it shall be obtained from the concerned Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), by one family member of the bereaved.
  2. Only 20 persons shall be permitted, and that is the maximum quantity, to attend the last rites/ funeral. The list of the 20 persons, including the priest, who will be attending will have to be submitted to the concerned SDM before obtaining the permits. Also, the 20 people permitted to attend, will have to belong from the same Gram Panchayat Unit/ Municipal Council. No one living in Containment Zones shall be allowed to attend the last rites/ funeral.
  3. If immediate family members of the deceased are in a different location outside of the funeral site or from other Gram Panchayat Units/ Municipal Councils, for them to attend specific permissions will have to be issued. WHereas for immediate family members of the deceased from outside the State, the Guidelines issued by the Health Department for the same will have to be strictly followed. 
  4. All persons attending the last rites/ funeral will have to wear a face mask and follow social distancing protocols.

For other Social Gatherings like Marriage/ Engagements

  1. The permit for organizing the marriage/ engagement function will have to be obtained from the concerned SDM by one family member of the organizing family.
  2. The function will have to be conducted in a well-ventilated hall and not in air-conditioned halls. 
  3. No more than 50 guests can be invited for the function. the list of the 50 invitees including all children above the age of 10 years old shall be submitted to the concerned SDM before obtaining the permits.
  4. The vulnerable age group that is children less than 10 years old, pregnant women and all elderly persons above the age of 65 years old are not permitted to attend such functions, as well as persons residing in Containment Zones.
  5. The organizing member will have to maintain the list of all invitees/ attendees with their phone numbers and will have to engage a person to check temperatures with a thermal scanner at the entrance of the venue. ANy guest with a fever of 99.5 F, cough, cold, or difficulty in breathing will not be allowed to attend such functions and will have to be referred to the nearest flu clinic.
  6. The venue hosting the function will have to be clean and hygienic with sanitizers being provided in the entrance with a touch-free dispensing mechanism. The washroom will have to maintained hygienically with soaps and running water ensured. Face masks will have to be worn by attendees while following social distancing protocols during such functions. All guests will have to have the Arogya Setu App installed and have their Bluetooth feature ON in their mobile phones.

Miscellaneous Instrictructions

  1. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM), will have to endorse a copy of the list of the invitees/ participants pf the permitted events to the concerned Station House Officer (SHO) of the jurisdiction’s Police Station, for monitoring and enforcement.
  2. The organizing member of the above social gatherings is solely responsible for maintaining social distancing protocols and enforcing the above-mentioned guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs, Government of India regarding public places and social gatherings. The organizing member will be held liable for the violation of the guidelines and action shall be taken under the relevant provision of law.

The above guidelines will come into immediate effect from July 28 and will remain until further orders.