Coronavirus scare : Manipur, Mizoram ban cross-border movements


Imphal/Aizwal :  Manipur and Mizoram governments have prohibited the cross border movements of people along India’s border with Myanmar and Bangladesh alongside the two north eastern states as precautionary measures to prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.

According to the officials of two northeastern states, the steps taken in consultation with the central government as Myanmar shares 2,204 km (1,370 miles) borders with China, where coronavirus first emerged in December last year and has since spread to over 100 countries and has infected thousands of people.

An official of Manipur Home Department in Imphal said that, the state Home Department issued an order prohibiting movement of people across international border with Myanmar through the Moreh town and other crossing points.

“All concerned government departments and agencies including police, district administrations, Assam Riffles and Customs have been instructed to ensure strict compliance of the order,” the official said quoting the notification, which issued on Monday.

Moreh, in southern Manipur’s Chandel district is an old border trading post and is linked to Tamu in Sagaing in northwest Myanmar by the Indo-Myanmar Friendship Bridge.

An official in Aizawl said that Deputy Commissioner of Siaha district (in southern Mizoram) on Monday issued a prohibitory order prohibiting cross- border movement between Myanmar and India through the border passages and roads that linked to the neighbouring country.

Deputy Commissioner Bhupesh Chaudhary held a meeting with the concerned officials and decided that villagers of ten bordering villages be requested to form a joint committee comprising of Church, NGOs and Village Council to vigil over border passages and roads that linked their respective villages and Myanmar.

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The meeting has also decided to set up checkpoints in 3 villages — Kaochao, Tlapi and Tipi Ferry which located at inter district border.

The official said that Block Development Officers of Siaha and Tipa went to those 10 villages to call for Gram Sabha meetings and to sensitize about Covid-19 and the prohibitory order.

An official team comprising health department officials and doctors, leaders of NGOs, Village Council members, police and district administration officials would visit the ten villages on March 13 and 14 to oversee the preventive measures taken by each village and carry out sensitization campaign as well.

Earlier last week Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh had decided to temporarily suspend the issuance of Inner Line Permits (ILPs) and Protected Area Permits (PAPs) respectively to prohibit entry of foreigners into these northeastern states.

To curb the threat of COVID-19, authorities had last month set up several screening and testing centres along the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh, which shares frontiers along the seven northeastern states.

Four northeastern states of Tripura, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam share a 1,880 km border with Bangladesh, while Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh share 1,640-km of unfenced border with Myanmar.


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