New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Hours after reporting its first COVID-19 death, the Sikkim government on Sunday extended the coronavirus-induced lockdown till August 1. 

In an official notification, the Prem Singh Tamang-led Sikkim government said that it has decided to impose a complete six-day lockdown till August 1 to break the chain of the novel coronavirus. 

"After careful consideration of the situation, it has been decided to extend the period of lockdown in the entire state of Sikkim till 6 am of August 1, 2020," a notification issued by Chief Secretary S C Gupta said, as reported by news agency PTI.

Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has also urged people across Sikkim to be cautious and follow the guidelines issued by the government as coronavirus cases are rising across the country. 

(Official Twitter account of news agency ANI)

The state government's decision to impose a lockdown comes just hours after Sikkim reported its first COVID-19 death. On Sunday, the officials said that a 74-year-old man succumbed to the highly contagious virus at the Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial (STNM) Hospital here.

"The man, a resident of Rongli sub-division of East Sikkim district, died due to COVID-19 early on Sunday morning," LiveMint quoted Director General-cum-Secretary, Health, Dr Pema T Bhutia, as saying who also said that the "man was suffering from diabetes and hypertension and was admitted at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the hospital where he breathed his last".

According to the latest information available at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the novel coronavirus, which is caused by SARS‑CoV‑2, has affected nearly 500 people in Sikkim so far. The active number of coronavirus cases in the state currently stands at 357 while the recovery rate stands 28.45 per cent as over 140 have recovered from coronavirus and discharged from hospitals. 

"Coronavirus is as 'lethal as it was in beginning', need to remain vigilant"

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India's COVID-19 recovery rate is better compared to other countries and its case fatality rate is much less as well, but the threat of the deadly virus is far from over, adding that the virus is spreading fast and people need to be extra vigilant.

"The threat of the coronavirus is far from being over. At many places, it is spreading fast. We need to be extra vigilant. We have to bear in mind that the coronavirus is as fatal today as it was in the beginning. That is why we have to be fully cautious," PM Modi said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma