Tripura has banned the entry of foreign tourists in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. It has become the fifth state to do so after Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Manipur took similar measures.
Sikkim banned the entry of foreign tourists on March 6. Soon after, Arunachal Pradesh did the same after reports of a US tourist, who had stayed in Assam, testing positive for COVID-19 in Bhutan. The tourism sector in northeastern states has been adversely affected.
Preventive measures rolled out across the country
Across India, states have taken preventive measures by shutting down schools, colleges and cinema halls till March 31 to contain the outbreak. India has suspended all tourist visas till April 15 to keep the spread of the virus in check. The government has instructed all Indians to completely avoid non-essential travel abroad. The centre has invoked the Epidemic Act 1897, an act to provide for the prevention of the spread of “dangerous epidemic diseases”.
Additionally, the centre also announced that the coronavirus outbreak will be dealt with as a ‘notified disaster.’ This has been done to provide assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). Under SDRF, Rs 4 lakh each will be provided as relief to families of the deceased, including those involved in response activities and relief operations.
The total number of positive cases in India stands at 125, as of 17th March. 2 deaths have been recorded so far.