Arunachal Pradesh bans entry of foreigners over coronavirus threat

The move comes days after Sikkim and Bhutan announced similar curbs on visit of foreigners

Arunachal Pradesh, foreigners, Sikkim, Bhutan, Coronavirus outbreak, coronavirus
Foreign tourists wear masks as they stand beside a sand sculpture, created to spread awareness on coronavirus. Photo: PTI

The Arunachal Pradesh government on Sunday (March 8) decided to temporarily suspend issuing Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to foreigners to check the spread of coronavirus, officials said.

People from abroad are required to submit PAPs to enter the state that shares a border with China.

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar directed all PAP issuing authorities to suspend the issue of permits till further orders, they said.

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“It is learnt that Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in India and the numbers have been increasing. It is also learnt that the spread of the coronavirus in India is primarily from visitors who had history of travelling abroad recently or through tourists who have visited India,” the government order said.

“In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Arunachal Pradesh, it has been decided to temporarily suspend issuing Protected Area Permit (PAP),” it added.

Related news: TN reports first case of coronavirus; 2 test positive from Ladakh

The move comes days after Sikkim announced similar curbs on visit of foreigners. The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has also shut its borders to foreign visitors for two weeks in an effort to limit the impact of the disease.

The virus that first emerged in China in December last year has spread to 97 countries and has infected 102,180 people, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus tracker.

More than 3,500 people have been killed due to the virus so far.

(With inputs from agencies)

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