Updated: March 8, 2020 2:11:14 pm
As the number of coronavirus cases rises in India, the Arunachal Pradesh government Sunday has decided to temporarily suspend issuing Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to foreigners, news agency PTI reported. Foreigners require PAPs to enter the state that shares a border with China.
With five new cases being reported in Kerala today, the number of patients infected with coronavirus is now 39.
All PAP issuing authorities have been directed to suspend the issue of permits till further orders.
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“It is learned that Covid-19 positive cases have been detected in India and the numbers have been increasing. It is also learned that the spread of the coronavirus in India is primarily from visitors who had a 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.
Before this, the state said it would set up a control room and also activate rapid response teams to tackle the infection. “24×7 control room has been set up at the state Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) for responding to any queries on coronavirus. The state and districts have rapid response teams to act as first responders for any cases, if detected in the state,” state Health and Family Welfare Minister Alo Libang said
Earlier, Sikkim had also announced similar curbs on the 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.
Assam is also on high-alert after two US nationals — who were on an India tour a week ago — tested positive in Bhutan. The Guwahati hotel in which the duo stayed was sealed and the river cruise ship M V Mahabahu on which they travelled has been quarantined at Neamatighat. The vessel has been fumigated and crew members are being examined for any symptoms that they might show.
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