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.
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.
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.