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Security personnel testing COVID-19 positive won’t be allowed to enter State, says Sikkim govt

A health worker conducts rapid antigen tests for diagnosis of COVID-19. File.   | Photo Credit: PTI

With security personnel comprising a substantial chunk of the COVID-19 cases in Sikkim, the State government has decided to allow only those jawans to enter the Himalayan state who test negative for coronavirus, a senior health official said on Saturday.

Rapid antigen tests will be conducted exclusively on security personnel, including those from the Army and the paramilitary forces, at the Rangpo border check-post from Saturday onwards, he said.

The Rangpo check-post along the Sikkim-West Bengal border is one of the major entry points to the Himalayan state.

“Those testing positive for COVID-19 during the rapid antigen tests will not be allowed to enter Sikkim and will be sent back to quarantine centres from where they came,” said Director General-cum-Secretary of the Health Department, Dr Pemba T Bhutia.

The measure comes after more than three dozen security personnel posted in the Himalayan state, bordering China, tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier, thermal screening was conducted on everyone including security personnel entering the state through the border check-posts.

The rapid antigen tests, that give results faster, will be conducted for free for the first 15 days, he said.

Meanwhile, eight more people have recovered from COVID-19 in the State, the official said.

Of the 121 COVID-19 cases in the State, 41 are active and 13 patients (Army personnel) have migrated to neighbouring West Bengal, while the remaining people have been cured of the disease, he added.

Sikkim had reported its first COVID-19 case on May 23 after residents started returning to the Himalayan state from other parts of the country. The number of cases has been rising since then.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 9:55:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/security-personnel-testing-covid-19-positive-wont-be-allowed-to-enter-state-says-sikkim-govt/article32051145.ece

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