GANGTOK: For vehicles in the Himalayan state of Sikkim, it will be mandatory to carry oxygen kits.

To avert health hazards for passengers, the Sikkim government has made carrying of oxygen kits in vehicles mandatory.

The new mandatory rule for the vehicles in Sikkim will come into force on July 01.

A notification has also been issued in this regard by Sikkim transport secretary Raj Yadav.

According to the Sikkim government notification, oxygen kits will be mandatory for both personal and commercial vehicles.

The oxygen kits will be certified by the Sikkim health department.

Meanwhile, the Sikkim police and the state’s motor vehicles division will conduct checks to ensure that the order is being adhered to.

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It may be mentioned here that tourists in Sikkim on occasions suffer from breathing issues, especially in destinations at higher altitudes.

Popular tourists’ destinations in Sikkim like Lachen, Lachung, Gurudongmar Lake and Yumthang are located at altitudes of over 10,000 feet.

Last year, the Sikkim government had issued an advisory for all vehicles, including two-wheelers, to carry portable oxygen cans while travelling to higher altitude areas.

Low oxygen density in the air at locations in high altitudes results in high-altitude illness.

Oxygen quantity in the air becomes very low at altitudes above 8000 feet.

One may feel ill in high altitude areas as the air has less oxygen density in it.

There are three types of high-altitude illness: (1) acute mountain sickness (also called AMS), (2) high-altitude pulmonary edema (also called HAPE), which affects the lungs, and (3) high-altitude cerebral edema (also called HACE), which affects the brain.

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