GUWAHATI/AGARTALA: After Assam reported 20 positive COVID-19 cases, six north-eastern States sealed the inter-state borders and barred the general entry from Assam, ministers and officials said on Friday.
Assam shares 2,743-km inter-state boundaries with Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and West Bengal. Of the 24 positive coronavirus cases in four of the seven north-eastern states, 18 took part in the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi while a Manipuri girl and a Mizoram man had tested positive last month after they returned from the the UK and the Netherlands, respectively.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who holds both the Health and Home Departments, while holding a meeting to review the preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 issues, strongly asked the officials to maintain a highest vigil along the inter-state borders with Assam and Mizoram.
“We must be extra careful against the spread of the novel coronavirus as positive cases were found in Assam, Mizoram and Bangladesh. Tripura is so far free from the positive cases,” Deb stated.
In Shillong, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said that the inter-district movements have been stopped by the Union Home Ministry, there was no question of allowing any movement within the State and from other States.
“The State government has asked district officials in the border areas to ensure that all the norms to fight against COVID-19 are strictly followed. Only in case of extreme medical emergency, the authorities are not allowing inter-state movement to take place,” Sangma said.
However, except travelling by train, people from Guwahati and other parts of Assam have to pass through Meghalaya’s Shillong, Jowai and Khliehriat to go to southern Assam, comprising five districts.
In Kohima, the Nagaland government has sealed the state’s borders with Assam along Wokha district (western Nagaland) with immediate effect, in the wake of increasing positive COVID-19 cases in Assam.
Deputy commissioner of Wokha district said that in the interest of public health and in consideration with the reports of positive cases in Assam and to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the border district, the order was made under the Epidemic diseases Act, 1897.
In Mizoram, the State government has further tightened the security along its inter-state borders with Assam, Manipur and Tripura following the spike in coronavirus positive cases in neighbouring states.
In Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu during a review meeting asked the police department to keep vigil of the porous border with Assam besides strict monitoring of all 22 official entry gates to prevent any suspicious access. (IANS)