New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Centre on Friday issued a directive to suspend all kinds of passenger movements through all immigration land checkposts located at India’s borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar from March 15 midnight.
The directive, issued by the foreign division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, mentioned that the governnent’s decision shall be implemented on an urgent basis in view of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
“All types of passenger movements through all the immigration land checkposts located at Indo-Bangladesh border, Indo-Nepal border, Indo-Bhutan border and Indo-Myanmar border will be suspended with effect from 00.00 Hrs March 15, 2020 till further orders,” the directive said.
The restrictions will not be imposed at Mankachar, Sutarkandi and Darranga immigration checkposts in Assam; Raxaul border in Bihar; Dalu and Dawki in Meghalaya; Kawrpulchhuah and Zokhawthar in Mizoram; Agartala; Sonouli in Uttar Pradesh; Banbasa, Changrabandha, Hili, Phulbari and Ghojadanga in Uttarakhand; and Haridaspur, Gede, Chitpur, Raniganj and Jaigaon in West Bengal.
As per the order, the visa restrictions on foreigners as amended from time to time (except Nepalese and Bhutanese nationals) shall apply to all the above mentioned land immigration checkposts.
Participation of foreigners in the ‘border haats’ shall remain suspended with immediate effect until further orders, the directive said.
The operation of the existing Indo-Bangladesh cross-border passenger train and passenger buses shall remain suspended from March 15 to April 15, or till further orders, whichever is earlier.
At the borders with Nepal and Bhutan, the existing travel arrangements for Indian and Nepalese or Bhutanese nationals, either by air or through the approved immigration checkposts, will remain unaffected.
There will be intensified health inspections at all these entry points and any traveller, whether Indian or Nepalese or Bhutanese or from any other country showing Covid-19 symptoms, or with a recent travel history to one of the seven Covid-19 affected countries — Italy, Iran, China, Spain, France, Germany and South Korea — shall be subjected to quarantine at an appropriate facility.
All further restrictions and preventive measures as stipulated with respect to immigration of travellers as issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Immigration and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare from time to time shall be followed strictly.
The order came after the Union Health Ministry on Friday confirmed 81 Covid-19 cases in the country. Of the confirmed cases, 64 are Indians, 16 Italians while one is a Canadian national.
The virus has infected over 80,000 people in China — the epicentre of the disease — and cases have been reported in over 100 other countries.