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Coronavirus: India bans entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia

Bengaluru international airport, Kempegowda International airport

Security stepped at Bengaluru Airport in the wake of coronavirus outbreak. (Photo | T Vinod Kumar, EPS)


NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday banned the entry of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia with immediate effect.

The decision came after Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla reviewed the level of preparedness to contain novel coronavirus threat with states bordering Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The home secretary held a video conference with chief secretaries, additional chief secretaries and Directors General of Police and Additional Directors General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya, besides secretary, Department of Border Management and heads of Border Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and Assam Rifles, an official statement said.

The states informed that regular screening is being done by doctors at various transit points and the community in border areas has been sensitised in respect of precautions to be taken to avoid getting infected by the virus through gram sabhas.

The home secretary urged all officials to ensure that round the clock deployment of doctors, with requisite testing kits and other medical supplies, be done so that 100 per cent screening is done without fail, the statement said.

Arunachal stops issuing ILP permits

The Arunachal Pradesh government on Tuesday stopped issuing temporary and provisional Inner Line Permit (ILP) as part of its measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Commissioner (home, political and border affairs), Kaling Tayeng, in a directive, asked officials to temporarily suspend the issuance of ILPs till further orders.

He, however, clarified that the process for renewal of existing ILPs will continue.

ILP is a mandatory official document issued by the government allowing inward travel of domestic visitors.

Last week, the government had stopped issuing Protected Area Permit to check entry of foreign tourists.

On Monday, it announced the closure of all educational institutes, cinema halls and weekly markets till April 5.

Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, however, clarified that board exams would be held as per schedule.

Kumar also directed shopping malls to disinfect their stores and food courts from time to time.

He asked people to avoid mass gatherings, sporting events and public meetings while directing all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to ensure strict compliance of the order.

Arunachal Pradesh has not registered any novel coronavirus case so far.

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