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Health dept shares success story on Covid containment, says Sikkim is a role model in country

Saturday, Jul 11, 2020 12:45 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Jul 11, 2020 07:06 [IST]

Health dept shares success story on Covid containment, says Sikkim is a role model in country

DICHEN ONGMU
GANGTOK: Early precautionary measures by the State government and dedicated services by the frontliners including the Health workers helped Sikkim battle Covid-19 pandemic successfully so far, said Health principal secretary K. Sreenivasulu on Friday.
Addressing the media at Health Secretariat here, the Health principal secretary added that the Sikkim government started its fight against the pandemic by setting up viral lab, importing PPE kits and other required resources. “Three months were indeed a long journey. The credit goes to the State government for its vigilant steps and the Health workers who worked without any compromise,” he said.
Sreenivasulu spoke of the initial challenges which caused a stir among the people of Sikkim. Return of Sikkimese stranded elsewhere was a challenge as it caused social distress but we came up with a plan which was successful, he said.
As of Friday, Sikkim has 41 active coronavirus cases while 80 patients have been cured and discharged. No person has succumbed to Covid-19 so far.
On zero casualty figure, the Health principal secretary said the sample size in Sikkim is small and the positive cases were less due to which no patient was claimed by the virus. Sixty per cent of the positive cases have recovered and discharged which is a commendable record, he said.
“We are containing the situation. Sikkim has become a role model in the country and our success story is being discussed everywhere”.
The Health principal secretary added the disturbance and de-escalation process in the international borders including in Sikkim did inconvenience the State’s working plan against Covid-19. However, the frequent movement of armies at present is also equally necessary, he said.
Health director general-cum-secretary Dr. Pempa T Bhutia informed that antigen testing at Rangpo checkpost is expected to start with a couple of days.
Regarding any relapse of the recovered Covid-19 patients, Dr. Bhutia said there have been no such cases so far. The recovered patients are asked to undertake home quarantine for 28 days after being discharged from the hospital, he informed.
A total of 9,237 samples have been tested for Covid-19 so far in the viral lab at STNM hospital here, said Dr. Tara Sharma, head of department, microbiology, STNM hospital.
The viral lab started functioning from May 29.
“The viral lab helped to contain the Covid-19 pandemic in Sikkim to a great extent. Since we had our own lab, we could conduct tests on time. Even the time zone of the test results has shortened as compared to the samples sent to North Bengal Medical College & Hospital earlier. We have less sample loads so we could give the results within 24 hours. If high sample loads or back logs, the results are usually out within 48 hours,” said Dr. Sharma.
Dr. Suresh Madan Rasaily, STNM hospital head of department (medicine), shared the oldest patient (65 years) and youngest patient (2 years) were treated successfully in the designated Covid-19 centre at STNM hospital.
“Everyone came together in the hospital along with expert advice from across the country. We designed our treatment protocol as we did not want to stress the resources of the hospital. We don’t know how long this pandemic will continue and we don’t want to finish up with the available things right away”, he said.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi