Nestled in the Himalayas, Sikkim is one Indian state that has witnessed a single Covid-19 case in the past three months.

The fact that the land-locked state with four districts managed keep Covid-19 at bay has garnered it many praises from around the country and beyond.

But keeping the deadly virus out of the state has not been easy. The state proactively kept taking important measures to counter the outbreak. The early measures taken by authorities proved to be the actual game changer for Sikkim.

An early tourist ban in the state along with a strict lockdown even before the central government announced it in March helped the state control the outbreak successfully.

But that’s not all. Sikkim has also declared a ban on any tourists entering the state till September.

Quick response

There is no special secret to how Sikkim managed to keep the virus out of the state; it was only due to the quick response of thr state administration.

The state government jumped to action as soon as the first Covid-19 positive case was identified in Kerala way back in February.

The government also passed orders to seal four out of six borders. What helped the state government was the sheer level of cooperation offered by citizens in the state, who obeyed rules seamlessly.

Future strategy

With migrants returning the state, the state government is again chalking out an elaborate set of plans to keep the virus infection at bare minimum in the state.

It may be noted that more than 5,000 people, who wish to return to the state, have been registered. The state government is bringing them in batches of 200-300 people at a time.

The government may open up small hotels and homestays for citizens who return to the state.

Commenting on the same, Sikkim Chief Minister PS Goley said, “As I’ve mentioned before, more than 5,000 people have been registered. We’ll bring 200-300 at a time.”

“Sikkim is a small state. So we’ll have to bring them phase-wise. We will contact the state administration and bring back all the people of our state as per the protocol of the Central government,” he added.

“There is not a single COVID-19 positive case in Sikkim. This has been possible because of the people’s discipline and the dedication of all the health workers, police, and cleaning staff.”

Citizens thank govt

Prabin Khaling, a citizen, said people in the state are happy as not a single patient has been reported in Sikkim for the last few months, which is a “great achievement”.

“These are positive results of initiatives taken by the Sikkim government from the very beginning.

We have to be more precautious and should continue to maintain social distancing to keep our State corona-free for future. We need to take it as a campaign,” Prabin Khaling said.

A shop owner named Vinod Prasad Pandey also thanked the Sikkim government for taking proactive measures to contain Covid-19 outbreak in the state.

“There are no positive case of Covid-19 cases in Sikkim and we want to thank the Sikkim government for that,” he said.

(With inputs from Arpan Pradhan)

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