Bangladesh closes land borders with India; Maldives puts restrictions on Indian tourists
As India battles the disastrous second wave of the Covid-19, authorities in Bangladesh have decided to close its borders with India for two weeks while the Maldives barred the entry of the Indian tourists in its inhabited islands. The move came after India continues to report more than 350,000 cases per day and over 2000 deaths.
Acting on the recommendation of the health directorate, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momin on Sunday announced closing borders with India for two weeks now. “We are closing it [border] for passengers for the time being, but trading will continue,” Momin was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.
The Maldives, which has an air bubble agreement with India, has decided to discontinue the stay of Indian tourists in any of its facilities in inhabited islands. Significantly, since the Covid-19 pandemic, India has emerged as the top market for the Maldives’ tourism industry and played a crucial in the revival of the devastating industry.
Bangladesh, however, made some relaxation for its nationals in India for border crossing.
Bangladeshi citizens in India for treatment with validity visas of less than 15 days could enter through Benapole, Akhaura, and Burimari only after taking permission from Bangladesh missions in New Delhi, Kolkata, and Agartala and with a mandatory Covid-negative certificate done through PCR test within 72 hours of entry.
Bangladesh, too, has been struggling to contain the spread of the virus and reporting over 5000 cases daily. The country had recently imposed two weeks of lockdown. Obaidul Quader, the country’s minister for road transport and bridges, on Sunday warned people of imposing more restrictions.
Announcing the plans to resume public transport, he said the government may consider re-imposing restrictions if people didn’t follow SOPs.