Proactive steps prove effective as coronavirus skips Sikkim

Gangtok, Sikkim.

When the rest of the world is reeling under COVID-19 pandemic, the Northeast Indian state of Sikkim is sitting with no positive cases so far.

A slew of proactive and stern measures taken by the Prem Singh Tamang-led government since Mach 5 have helped the state to keep the contagious coronavirus at bay.

The preventive steps taken by the government with the full support of people played a decisive role in containing the spread of coronavirus in this state which usually records high tourist footfalls. But the endeavor to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 was pretty tough for the state machinery.

As per the 2011 census, Sikkim’s population is 6.10 lakh. The state shares border only with West Bengal in India and it doesn’t have any railway station. The state’s first airport was opened in 2018, and the only road to Bengal is National Highway 10. These factors helped a lot in mitigating the coronavirus scare, along with the stringent measure put in place by the Prem Singh Tamang government. Sikkim is situated near the Siliguri corridor, also known as 'chicken neck,' which connects West Bengal with the northeastern states.

As Sikkim is one of the charming northeastern states, nearly 15 lakh tourists annually visit the state to enjoy its pristine beauty. The state tourism season falls in the months of February and March. The Nathu La trade check post is in Sikkim, and daily 20 trucks from India loaded with rice, milk products, tea, spices, and utensils pass through this checkpoint to Tibet.

Banning entry of tourists, including restrictions in providing inner line permits to foreign travellers, and suspension of trade through Nathu La augured well for the state's fight against coronavirus.

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