New Delhi: The Group of Ministers (GoM) has acceded to the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries to prohibit the travel of people from member countries of European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom with effect from March 18 in view of COVID-19.
The government has also stopped the traffic on India-Pakistan border since today morning, senior officials informed on Monday.
Luv Aggarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health and Family Welfare flanked by Anil Malik, Joint Secretary, from the Ministry of Home Affairs, told media today that travel of passengers from member countries of European Union, European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom has been prohibited with effect from March 18, 2020.
“No airline shall board a passenger to India with effect from March 18. All airlines should implement this from the port of departure. These are temporary measures and shall be enforced till March 31, 2020. These will be reviewed subsequently,” said Aggarwal.
He further informed that travel advisories have been tightened to control the spread of COVID-19 from high-risk areas, expanding compulsory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days for those coming from / transiting through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.
“This compulsory quarantine would come in to effect from March 18, 2020, at the port of first departure,” he said.
Anil Malik, who was also present in the briefing, informed about the government’s decision to stop the traffic on the India-Pakistan border.
While stating that the Central government had earlier decided to restrict the number of immigration check posts on land borders through which international passengers pass, Malik said an advisory has been issued regarding traffic on the India-Pakistan border.
“The number (of international passengers) was restricted. Regarding the India-Pakistan border, the advisory has been issued as well. We have taken note of it. Since today morning, the traffic on India-Pakistan border has been stopped,” informed Malik.
The senior official also stated that States can use the funds from SDRF (State Disaster Response Funds) for setting up facilities like labs and testing centres to combat coronavirus.
Senior officials also said that the fourth batch of 53 evacuees of Iran have arrived today and are being quarantined at the Army facility in Jaisalmer.
“All are reported to be asymptomatic. Four new cases, one each from Odisha, J&K, Kerala and Ladakh have been confirmed till the last update. There are now a total of 114 confirmed cases in India,” said Aggarwal.
The Ministry of External Affairs too informed that it has set up a round-the-clock control room in the wake of COVID-19 scare.