Nepal, Bhutan seal borders with India; govt moves in to help the stranded
Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said the country was resorting to the “drastic measure” of sealing its land borders because of the pandemic.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 09:01 IST
Nepal and Bhutan sealed their land borders with India on Monday as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 even as Indian authorities continued to provide support to nationals stranded in various cities around the world.
Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said the country was resorting to the “drastic measure” of sealing its land borders because of the pandemic. “The virus is spreading, causing immense disruption worldwide, and drawing closer to us each day,” he said in a televised address on Sunday.
Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay said the borders were sealed from 6 am on Monday. The Bhutan government said only essential supplies such as food and medicines would be allowed, and returning Bhutanese nationals would be quarantined.
Nepal too completely sealed its land borders with India at 10 am on Monday. India and Nepal had earlier decided to keep four border check points operational, but Nepalese authorities had expressed concern about the “unrestricted” movement of nationals of both countries, The Kathmandu Post reported.
With the week-long suspension of all international flights to India, Indian missions began extending support to nationals stranded in various cities.
Officials of the Indian mission in Kuala Lumpur are continuing to help Indians stranded while in transit at the Kuala Lumpur airport.
Several members of a group of more than 50 Indian students who had sought shelter at the Indian high commission in London were moved to hotels and hostels, people familiar with developments said.
India also sent a consignment of 40,000 masks and other medical equipment to Italy.