Coronavirus: Italian couple among 4 tourists arrived in Srinagar

SRINAGAR: Despite a ban on foreign tourists from entering Kashmir, the Government Wednesday allowed the entry of at least four foreign tourists including a couple from Italy into Kashmir Valley.

Italian tourist couple enjoying Shikara ride in Dal Lake: KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The entry of foreign tourists has been banned in Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order to ban the entry of foreign tourists was recently issued by Baseer Khan, the Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor, Girish Chandra Murmu.

Highly placed sources told Kashmir News Trust that four tourists landed at Srinagar Airport on Wednesday. Among those who arrived in Srinagar was a couple from Italy, a citizen from the United States and one from Russia. Ironically, the authorities didn’t deport these tourists and allowed them to enter into Kashmir Valley.

Sources added that all the four tourists hired a cab outside Srinagar Airport and are staying somewhere in a houseboat (name withheld) near Nehru Park.

COVID-19 has been declared an epidemic in Jammu and Kashmir, and surveillance personnel have been authorized to enter any premises to look for suspects infected with the Coronavirus.

District Development Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdary said that all these tourists will be sent back tomorrow. “There is nothing to worry about. The advisory we issued last night but these tourists were already present in India and they have toured to Rajsthan and other areas. We have done proper screening but they will be sent back tomorrow,” newsagency KNT quoted District Development Commissioner Srinagar as saying.

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