The Mizoram government on Monday decided to seal its international borders and ban foreigners to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.
The decision was taken at a meeting convened by chief minister Zoramthanga with cabinet ministers, officials and security forces, a day after the Opposition Congress asked the government to seal the state’s borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Entry from Myanmar will be opened at Zokhawthar village in exceptional case and medical team will be deployed there round-the-clock, an official said.
The hilly state will also close its inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura except at four entry points — at Bairabi and Vairengte for Assam, Khawkan for Manipur and at Kanhmun for Tripura.
The government will expedite surveillance along its international and inter-state borders, set up a quarantine camp at Lengpui tourist lodge for suspected passengers and not issue ILP to new entrants, apart from employed labourers. Zoramthanga, however, urged the people not to panic.
The government prohibited hoarding of commodities and asked all traders not to hike prices and instructed all commercial vehicles plying within and outside the state to maintain good records of their passengers.
The state health department said at least 67 people were put under home isolation as a precautionary measure although they did not show symptoms of coronavirus. Till date no case of coronavirus has been detected in the state, an official said.
In Assam, no case has been detected either but screening is on, officials said.
Dr Lakshmanan S, director of National Health Mission, Assam, told The Telegraph that five persons in Jorhat and two in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Guwahati had tested negative. “All under control so far,” he said.
Twelve persons from Bangladesh, who are stationed at Dhubri river port, were screened on Monday as a part of the government’s strategy to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in the district.
The NERES 1.0 Summit, scheduled at Vivanta Guwahati for March 20 and 21, has been postponed.
In Meghalaya, health minister A.L. Hek, warned against spreading of false reports on spread of coronavirus after it was circulated on WhatsApp that a person admitted to NEIGRIHMS with respiratory tract infection was infected with the virus. Speaking to reporters, he clarified that a person had been kept in isolation ward of NEIGRIHMS because he had a travel history to Delhi. A testing centre will come up soon in the state in the wake of the spread of coronavirus in the country.
Additional reporting by Rokibuz Zaman in Guwahati, Mukesh Kumar Singh in Dhubri and Rining Lyngdoh in Shillong