Sikkim bans entry of tourists

Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has banned the entry of foreign and domestic tourists into the state and shut down public places such as educational institutes till April 15 in view of novel coronavirus outbreak.

He also appealed to the people of Sikkim to avoid travelling outside the state unless it is an emergency.

There will be a complete ban on visits of even domestic tourists in Sikkim, the chief minister said, adding a notification in this regard will be issued on Tuesday.

The Himalayan state is a favourite destination of both domestic and foreign tourists. Over 1.33 lakh foreigners visited Sikkim in 2019, while nearly 12 lakh Indians visited the state till September last year, according to government data.

The Tourism Guest House at Rangpo will be converted to a quarantine centre and similar arrangements will be made at Melli, he said.

All government and private schools, colleges and universities and public places such as discos, casinos, gyms, fairs and festivals will remain closed till April 15, the chief minister said after a high-level meeting in Gangtok.

Students should stay put in Sikkim and refrain from travelling outside even if it means travelling to their home states, Tamang said.

He asked people to take these decisions positively as nothing is more important than public health and life.



“Sikkim is fortunate to have not a single case of coronavirus, but we should continue to take all precautionary measures,” the chief minister said.

Tamang said the authorities concerned have been directed to store all essential commodities to avoid any shortage in future.

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