Coronavirus | Arunachal Pradesh bans entry of foreign tourists

Decision comes after Bhutan’s alert about the COVID-19-infected tourist who had travelled to Assam

March 08, 2020 09:23 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 06:51 am IST - GUWAHATI

Preventive steps: Factory workers in Amritsar wearing protective masks in the wake of the COVID-19 scare on Sunday.

Preventive steps: Factory workers in Amritsar wearing protective masks in the wake of the COVID-19 scare on Sunday.

After Sikkim , the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to ban entry of foreign tourists in order to eliminate any possibility of the COVID-19 outbreak in the State.


The move follows the Bhutan government’s alert about a 76-year-old U.S. citizen who tested positive for COVID-19. The man had spent a week holidaying in Assam before leaving for Bhutan.

Officials in Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar said the State government has stopped issuing Protected Area Permits (PAPs) to foreigners temporarily.

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the four northeastern States that a foreign tourist can visit only if he or she possesses a PAP. The other three states are Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. An Indian national is required to have an Inner-Line Permit to visit these States for up to a week.

Nagaland tribe

Meanwhile, the Konyak (Naga tribe) Union in Nagaland has banned the entry of foreign as well as domestic tourists in the State’s Mon district. Nagaland’s Chief Secretary Temjen Toy had last week said that the State would not restrict the inflow of tourists. An official statement by the union said the ban was to prevent people from crowding venues of a Konyak spring festival in the first week of April.

Also read | Five more people from Kerala test positive for COVID-19

The Assam government said isolation wards have been set up across six medical colleges in the State and 600 beds were earmarked in case of mass quarantine. “Till date, there is no case of COVID-19 infection in Assam,” said health commissioner-secretary Anurag Goel. “There is no shortage of personal protective equipment for the health workers assigned to screen and isolate suspected coronavirus cases," he added.

At least 115 people were found to have come in contact with the U.S. tourist during his stay in Assam. Of these, 56 people (including 34 crew members) were aboard the Brahmaputra river cruise that the tourist and his partner had boarded. Of the remaining, 24 were employees at a five-star hotel in Guwahati where the couple stayed, and 35 worked at the Guwahati airport.

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