Guwahati/Agartala: Border trade with Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries continued on Monday even as India restricted people’s movement through all land immigration check-posts on the country’s borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar from March 15 midnight. Also Read - Italian Serie A Could be Spread Out Over Two Seasons After Coronavirus Forces Suspension
“The Indian government has not yet issued any notification to restrict cross-border trade with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Trade is on with little lesser volume between India and the neighbouring countries,” a top Custom official told IANS. Also Read - Don't Spread Information From Unreliable Sources: Suresh Raina on Coronavirus
He said that health officials had been deployed at the border trade points to screen and test drivers and labourers associated with cross-border trade through infrared thermometers. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Cases Rise to 37, Entry to Siddhivinayak Temple Banned | Top 10 Points
To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Foreigners Division (Immigration Section) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, in a memorandum on March 13, had restricted passenger movements between India and Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar from the midnight of Sunday.
The memorandum said that the operation of passenger train and bus services would also remain suspended for a month till April 15.
An official posted at the Integrated Check Posts at the Agartala (India)-Akhaura (Bangladesh) borders said that Indians can enter into the country from Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar but not the foreign nationals.
“Intensified health inspections at all border entry points and any traveller, whether Indian or Nepalese or Bhutanese or from any other country with Covid-19 symptoms or with a recent travel history to any Covid-19 affected country shall be subjected to quarantine in an appropriate facility of the state or central governments,” the official told IANS quoting the Centre’s circular.
According to the Customs officials, 20 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) along India’s borders with Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar are still operational and through which cross-border trades could take place.
Of these 20 ICPs, the highest nine are along the India’s international borders in West Bengal, followed by three in Assam, two each in Meghalaya and Mizoram, one each in Bihar, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The four ‘Border Haats’ (markets) in Tripura and Meghalaya along the India-Bangladesh frontier are also closed from last week as a precautionary measure against novel coronavirus.
The Manipur and Mizoram governments early last week also prohibited cross-border movement of people along India’s border with Myanmar and Bangladesh in the two northeastern states as a precautionary measure.