At a time when urban areas like the Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) and the rural belts under the Matigara block in Darjeeling district are hit by Covid-19, the tiny Mirik municipality under the same district is still Covid-free.

As per records maintained by the Darjeeling district health officials, the SMC and Matigara block areas have been hit by Covid-19, and health officials apprehend that cases may go up in the next few days if people do not follow the guidelines and do not maintain social distancing.

The Hill Municipality, meanwhile, has been identified as a ‘green zone’ as no positive case has been reported there even though many people have returned there from different Covid-19 infected states, officials have said.

According to the administration, a total of 1299 persons returned to Mirik as of 11 June. A total of 405 persons have been quarantined in 136 quarantine centres and relief camps in the Mirik sub-division.

A total of 124 centres are in the rural belt and 12 centres are in the Mirik Municipality area. A total of 254 persons have returned in the ChengaPanighatta gram panchayat, and 148 have returned to Soureni-I and 374 persons to Soureni-II Gram Panchayat.

As compared to the rural belts, a total of 169 persons have returned to the Mirik Municipality area, officials said. According to sources, the Darjeeling district magistrate has marked two hotels in Mirik town as paid quarantine centres. Returnees interested in staying in these hotels will have to part with Rs 1000 for a single bed room and Rs 1800 for a double bed room, food charges and GST extra.

Asked to comment, Mirik SDO Ashwini Kumar Roy said only three persons have been identified as infected with the novel coronavirus in the Mirik Sub-Division till date. All the three patients are undergoing treatment in the Covid hospital in Siliguri, it is learnt. Officials said one patient with symptoms from Soureni was directly shifted to the Covid hospital, while two asymptomatic patients were found in Nipania and Belgachhi, and that they were shifted to the Covid hospital directly from quarantine centres.

“We have been able to isolate migrant workers coming in from different states. A committee to keep monitoring the quarantine centres is playing a vital role. Inmates cannot leave the centres without medical certificate and clearance from the committee. Even if someone is granted permission to leave the centres after a 14-day quarantine, he/she has been asked to stay at home isolation for seven more days,” Mr Roy said.

“Health workers, including the ICDS (Integrated Child Development Scheme) and members of the Self Help Groups (SHG), in association with the local committee, keep a close eye on them and thus stop coronavirus from spreading in Mirik,” he added.