Coronavirus: Entry of all foreign tourists banned in J&K


The Jammu and Kashmir government has banned the entry of foreign tourists to Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure in view of the coronavirus outbreak around the world.

Advisor to the Lt Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan issued necessary orders in this regard, said an official on Tuesday.

Secretary Tourism, Director Tourism and DCs have been asked to ensure implementation of the order with immediate effect.

Authorities have already closed educational institutions including schools, colleges and universities in addition to all the coaching centres in J&K and Ladakh.

Health authorities have issued advisories asking people not to undertake unnecessary travel and avoid large gatherings.

All cinema halls, malls, public parks and gardens have also been ordered to be closed to avoid the risk of catching the virus in such places.

In a swift action on Friday, the administration placed Dr Shafqat Khan, the nodal officer for virus control under suspension for dereliction of duty.

Isolation wards and testing equipment have been put in place in two super-speciality hospitals in Srinagar and Jammu cities and the government medical colleges.

Earlier, the government prohibited airlines from carrying passengers from the European Union, European Free Trade Association member states – Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Swiss Confederation – United Kingdom and Turkey.

“Travel advisories have been tightened as a preventive measure,” reports quoted health ministry joint secretary Lav Aggarwal as having said.

Meanwhile, according to the daily Media Bulletin on novel coronavirus (COVID-19), 2615 travellers and persons in contact with suspected cases have been enlisted for surveillance and, so far, three cases have tested positive in Jammu and Kashmir.

Whereas, 2060 persons have been kept under home quarantine and 28 are in hospital quarantine.

Persons who are under home surveillance stand at 297 while as 230 persons have completed their 28-day surveillance period.

Further, the Bulletin said that 113 samples have been sent for testing, of which 105 tested as negative and three cases have tested positive, so far, while as reports of five cases are awaited till March 17, 2020.

The Government has urged the general public to maintain social distancing as it is the key to stop and prevent the spread of Covid-19 from those who are infected.

“The intervention includes remaining out of crowded settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible,” the government advisory said.

Further, the Government has appealed people not to panic and take care of health and protect others.

“Public, in general, is advised to avoid unnecessary travel and use of public transport; avoid crowded places and large gatherings, do not spit in public. People must take basic precautions for personal hygiene; frequent handwashing with soap and water and observing coughing and sneezing etiquettes,” the Government advisory added.

If anyone has fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, seek medical care at the earliest.

The advisory also calls upon the general public to strictly follow the advisories issued by the Government from time to time and rely only on the information released by the Government through the daily media bulletin to print and electronic media.


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