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Coronavirus: Mizoram to seal international borders, ban entry of foreigners

By PTI Updated: Mar 09, 2020 11:29 pm
Passengers wear protective masks in the wake of novel coronavirus scare, at Guwahati Railway Station in Guwahati on Monday.

Aizawl, March 9 (PTI): Mizoram’s borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh will be sealed and the entry of foreigners banned to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in the state, a top official said on Monday.

Mizoram shares a 510-km border with Myanmar and a 318-km border with Bangladesh.

State chief secretary Lalnunmawia Chuaungo said in a meeting convened by Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Monday, it was decided that the borders with the two countries will be sealed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

However, entry from Myanmar will be allowed at Zokhawthar for senior officials and in case of any emergencies where a medical team will be deployed round the clock to screen the people coming in.

During the meeting, it was also decided that all inter-state borders except four entry points will be closed and Inner Line Permits will not be issued to new entrants, the official said.

Mizoram shares inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura. Entry points with Assam will be open at Bairabi and Vairengte, with Manipur at Khawkan and with Tripura at Kanhmun, Chuaungo said.

The meeting was attended by cabinet ministers, senior officials, and representatives of Mizoram Journalists Association (MJA), the chief secretary said.

The state health department said that at least 67 people have been put under isolation at their homes as a precautionary measure although they did not show any symptoms of coronavirus.

He said that the government would expedite surveillance along the national and international borders, including Lengpui airport.

Meanwhile, the state government prohibited hoarding of commodities and asked traders not to hike prices.

The state government also instructed all commercial vehicles plying within and outside the state to maintain record of their passengers.

Arunachal govt. to screen students returning from Delhi

The Arunachal Pradesh government on Monday decided to screen all the students returning to the state from Delhi by a special train, an official statement said.

The decision was taken during an emergency meeting chaired by Health Minister Alo Libang.

Libang also reviewed the preparedness and the strategy adopted for cluster containment of coronavirus in the state.

It was also decided that laboratory testing for Covid-19 will be carried out on only those with symptoms such as cough, cold, running nose, difficulty in breathing and having travel history to any of coronavirus affected countries.

The samples (throat swab) will be collected at Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (TRIHMS) at Naharlagun, near here, Baken Pertin General Hospital at Pasighat in East Siang district and all district and general hospitals in the state, the statement said.

The samples would be sent and tested at Indian Council of Medical Research in Dibrugarh and Guwahati Medical College in Assam.

State surveillance officer (SSO) of Integrated Disease Surveillance Project (IDSP) Dr L Jampa made a presentation on steps taken by the health department to prevent the spread of the disease in the state, the official statement said.

Earlier, responding to apprehensions of MLAs in the assembly, Libang said that there is nothing to panic and people have been asked to be alert.

“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,” he said.

Man kept in isolation for suspected coronavirus infection in Meghalaya

A 38-year-old man has been kept under isolation at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Institute of Health and Medical Sciences here for suspected Covid-19 infection, an official said on Monday.

The patient who returned from Delhi on Sunday was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of cough and fever, and he was immediately shifted to the isolation ward, state Health Commissioner and Secretary Sampath Kumar said in a statement.

The doctors at the hospital are trying to trace out his point of contact and taking precautions, he said.

The sample collected from the patient is being sent to Kolkata-based lab at ICMR for corona test, he said.

The district administration appealed to the people not to panic and stay calm, and strictly follow the advisory given by the state health department.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed that 13 hospitals across the state have been asked to set up isolation wards to handle the situation in case people are infected with the coronavirus.

Strict guidelines and procedures are being followed as per Government of Indias standard operating procedure for people who have returned or travelling into the state, Meghalaya Health Minister A L Hek said.

By PTI Updated: Mar 09, 2020 11:29:07 pm