COVID-19: Bhutan govt closes all international borders

New Delhi (NVI): In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, Bhutan has closed down all its international borders with India on Monday and also restricted all the international crossings with effect from Tuesday.

Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan issued a public notification saying: “In view of the rapidly evolving situation in the region regarding COVID-19 and to mitigate the risks posed by this pandemic, all international borders shall be closed with effect from 6 am of March 23 until further notice.”

The notification further stated that Bhutanese arriving at border crossings shall be allowed to enter Bhutan subject to medical screening and a mandatory two week quarantine at a designated facility adding that foreigners residing in the kingdom will be allowed to exit.

The notification has been issued in consultation with the Prime Minister’s office, Bhutan for strict compliance, it further added.

Bhutan has reported its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus after a tourist visiting the country from Guwahati tested positive.

According to Bhutan Prime Minister Office, the 76-year-old American tourist entered Bhutan from India early March. Eight Indian passengers who travelled with the American on the same aircraft, from Guwahati to Bhutan’s international airport in Paro, have also been quarantined. However, all of them tested negative.

Moreover, the agriculture minister has also said that the import of vegetables, fruits and meat have also been banned as a precautionary measure against coronavirus outbreak.