Considering the recent sharp rise in the number of COVID19 cases in the country, the Sikkim government has issued a new set of guidelines for COVID 19 making it mandatory for tourists to show RT-PCR test reports during their stay in the state.

The Sikkim government has issued a notification (Vide Order No 08/Home/2021 dated March 31, 2021) in this regard.

Issuing a statement, Kuldip Chetri, PCE-cum-secretary to the Sikkim government, said as per the new guidelines “the hotel owners, travel agents, homestay owners shall ensure that tourists staying in their establishments carry a negative RT-PCR test report conducted 72 hours prior to their arrival”.

In case tourists arrive without such a report, the travel agents/hotel owners/ homestay owners shall get the RT-PCR/True NAT test conducted at specified testing locations in the state, the statement said.

These conditions shall be applicable with effect from April 7, 2021.

According to the statement, it is not compulsory to show the RT-PCR test certificates at entry check posts by the tourists visiting Sikkim.

“However, the travel agents and hotels shall assist the tourists for effective compliance of the order,” the notification said.

Meanwhile, Union Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on Friday chaired a high-level review meeting with chief secretaries, DGPs and health secretaries of all states/UTs, with focus on 11 states/UTs that have been reporting very high rise in daily cases and daily mortality because of COVID-19 in the last two weeks.

The meeting to review and discuss the COVID management and response strategy was attended by the chief secretaries, DGPs, and senior health professionals of all states/UTs along with the Member (Health) NITI Aayog, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Union Secretary (I&B), DG ICMR, and Director of NCDC.

Taking note of the present situation due to the continuous deterioration of the COVID scenario over the fortnight, the Cabinet secretary pointed out that the current COVID case growth rate of 6.8% in March 2021 has surpassed the previous record of 5.5% (June 2020).

The country also reported 5.5% growth rate in daily COVID deaths in this period.

While the country was reporting about 97,000 daily new COVID cases at the peak of the pandemic in September 2020, the country has now reached the critical figure 81,000 daily new cases of COVID.

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