In a bid to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus, all passenger movements through immigration land check posts at borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar will be suspended from March 15 till further orders. According to a statement by Union Home Ministry, the people will be allowed to travel through 19 of 37 land immigration check-posts from Saturday midnight.
The announcements come after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Over 5,000 people have died due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the total number of positive cases in India has risen up to 88 and two death have been reported so far.
The ministry issued a number of check posts which are exempted from this notification and further announced that the anticipation of foreigners in the border 'haats' shall remain suspended with immediate effect until further orders.
"Restrictions on international passenger traffic through land checkposts in view of the spread of COVID-19. All types of passenger movements through all the immigration land check posts located at India-Bangladesh border, India-Nepal border, India-Bhutan border and India-Myanmar Border will be suspended with effect from 00:00 hrs on March 15," the statement said.
"There will be intensified health inspections at all these entry points and any traveler whether Indian or Nepalese or Bhutanese or from any other country showing COVID-19 symptoms or with a recent travel history to one of seven COVID-19 outbreak countries namely Italy, Iran, China, Spain, France, Germany and Republic of Korea shall be subjected to quarantine in the appropriate facility of state or central government," the statement further said.
Furthermore, the Indian Railways on Friday said that the operation of existing India-Bangladesh cross border passenger trains and buses will be suspended for one month starting from March 15. The two trains -- Maitree Express and Bandhan Express -- connect India and Bangladesh. The Maitree Express runs between the cities of Kolkata and Dhaka, while the Bandhan Express connects Kolkata to Khulna city in Bangladesh.
"As per the advisory of MHA, the operation of existing India-Bangladesh cross-border passenger trains (i.e. Maitree Express and Bandhan Express) and passenger buses shall remain suspended during the period March 15 to April 15, 2020, or till further orders whichever is earlier," the Indian Railways said.
As of date, the total number of positive cases in India has risen up to 88. Two deaths have also been reported, in Kalaburagi and West Delhi respectively.
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel coronavirus has affected over 120 countries in the world. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
(With Inputs from ANI)