All 33 primary contacts at Deorali Girl School test negative; Only 3 of Sikkim's 41 active cases in

SAGAR CHETTRI

Gangtok, 15 Mar: It was a Monday of good news for Sikkim today when, apart from no new cases of Covid being reported in the past 24 hours, samples of all the 33 primary contacts of the Deorali Girls School staff member who had recently tested positive for Novel Coronavirus have returned negative for the virus. Health Department State IEC Officer, Sonam Gyaltsen Bhutia, informs that while test

results of 32 of the primary contacts had arrived yesterday itself, since official confirmation on the exposure of one more contact was still awaited, the announcement was withheld till today. The school, its staff members, students and their parents must be heaving a sigh of relief as must schools across

the State who would have been watching developments at Deorali Girls School closely. Since schools have reopened for in-person classes, there must have been apprehensions in the management and

parents about possible exposure to nCoV. While just this one episode of the virus not transmitting in schools even among primary contacts cannot be taken as evidence that this will not happen, it does go a long way to establish that if adequate precautions are taken, transmission can be reasonably well

checked. In the State meanwhile, Sikkim’s tally of confirmed cases of COVID-19 held at 6,184 for the second straight day with no new cases of novel coronavirus reported in the last 24 hours. All 18 samples tested through rapid antigen testing on Sunday returned negative for COVID-19. Since the VRD Labs at

STNM Hospital and Central Referral Hospital are closed on Sundays, no RT-PCR tests were carried out yesterday. Reassuring news on the Covid front continued for Sikkim with the discharge of five more Covid-positive people from isolation facilities to further improve the number of recovered cases in Sikkim to 5,911. The number of active cases of novel coronavirus in the State has accordingly further reduced to 41. What is more, only three of these 41 cases are in hospital suggesting that 38 of the currently

active cases do not have symptoms requiring medical attention.