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Political parties in race to draw crowds when social distancing is the remedy: Passang

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 11:45 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Mar 26, 2020 06:10 [IST]

Political parties in race to draw crowds when social distancing is the remedy: Passang

SE Report

GANGTOK: Political activist Passang Sherpa on Wednesday said the curtailed Budget Session in the Assembly concluded without a proper roadmap for the future of Sikkimese at this hour of global pandemic coronavirus.

“The customary estimate of budget was presented by Chief Minister P.S. Golay, the session was shortened to just two days amid the fear of corona outbreak. Interestingly, the people coming from outside including students studying under Chief Minister Scholarship were being quarantined but State government failed to quarantine their ministers and MLAs who just got back from Guwahati and New Delhi,” Passang said in a press statement.

Passang, also the coordinator of ‘I am 371F Campaign’, said political parties in Sikkim were in a race to draw crowds at a time when social distancing was the need of the hour.

“World Health Organisation is advocating social distancing as the only remedy for corona outbreak but Sikkim witnessed the arms of different political parties in competitive mode to distribute face masks, sanitizers and pamphlets of their respective affiliations and drawing crowds, as it is a prerequisite for them to earn credits. The concern shown by State government towards COVID outbreak is as hollow as the proceeding of curtailed State Assembly session,” said Passang.

He said the frontline workers in the State fighting against coronavirus do not have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). “Moreover, the nearest testing lab for Sikkim is at Dibrugarh in Assam, which makes it totally impossible for Sikkimese people to test themselves against COVID-19. However, not a single discussion took place about PPE and dedicated testing lab for Sikkim in recently concluded Budget Session”, he said.

“At such a backdrop, when political parties are more on earning credits than getting down to reality of global pandemic, we at ‘I AM 371F Campaign’ have been constantly writing to the Health Ministry, Government of India with a demand of a dedicated testing lab and proper Personnel Protective Equipment for every individuals working towards containing this global epidemic.”

Passang also highlighted the recent discovery of COVID-19 test kit developed by a Pune-based company who has also got approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. Therefore, through this press statement, we urge State government of Sikkim to immediately ensure maximum testing kits and adequate personal protective equipment at earliest, 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