COVID-19: Himachal Pradesh bans entry of all domestic and foreign tourists

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 20, 2020

The Himachal Pradesh government has banned the entry of all domestic and foreign tourists with immediate effect until further orders in light of the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports.

The confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in the neigbbouring states prompted the state to take the decision on Thursday, the Tribune reported.

The Himachal Pradesh government has invoked Clause 3 of the Himachal Pradesh Epidemic Disease (COVID-19) Regulation, 2020, under the Epidemic Act 1897, Times of India reported.

Earlier this week, it banned all social, cultural, political, sports, religious and family mass gatherings to further the concept of social distancing.

“It has been recognised that social distancing is potent intervention implemented to avoid/decrease contact between those who are infected with a disease-causing pathogen and those who are not, so as to stop or slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission in a community, eventually leading to decrease in spread, morbidity and mortality due to the disease,” the state government had said in a release.

The Centre invoked the Epidemic Act 1897, earlier this month in a meeting headed by the Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba, with representatives of the Indian Army, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and other ministries, media reports said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address on Thursday urged citizens to follow social distancing to curb the spread of the disease. Stressing on restraint, PM Modi asked people to follow a self-imposed, ‘Janata Curfew’ from 7 am to 9 pm on Sunday.

No one apart from those engaged in essential services such as health, government services, sanitation and media should venture out of their home, especially the elderly and the children, he said.

So far, 171 active cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in India, with 19 patients cured and discharged. The death toll due to the coronavirus pandemic in India is at 4 as of Friday morning, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Published on March 20, 2020

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