Gangtok, May 30: The Sikkim government on Sunday extended its statewide lockdown for another week -- till June 7 amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Himalayan state reported 264 more COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 15,171, while three fresh fatalities raised the toll to 250, a bulletin released by the health department said. Officials said the decision to extend the shutdown was taken at a high-level review meeting here, which was chaired by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang and attended by cabinet ministers, Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Gupta among others. Certain relaxations have been granted during the week-long lockdown, starting June 1.
Shops selling groceries and vegetables have been allowed to operate from 7 am to noon -- two hours more than what it was in the previous weeks, an official release said. The state government has also eased curbs on agricultural activities at gram panchayat units, the release by the Information and Public Relations Department said.
All centralized construction activities by local labourers shall be permitted during the week. At the meeting, the chief minister expressed concern over the rapid spread of COVID-19 in rural areas and sought strict surveillance by local police personnel in villages. He asked the police to take strict action against those found breaching health protocol, the release added. Sikkim currently has 3,961 active COVID-19 cases, while 10,746 patients have recovered from the disease. Two hundred and fourteen people have migrated out of the state.
Of the 264 new cases, East Sikkim registered 123 cases, followed by South Sikkim at 79, West Sikkim at 56 and North Sikkim at six.