KATHMANDU, Oct 13: The government has decided to close Nepal’s international border with India until November 15 in view of the growing threat of the spread of COVID-19.
A cabinet meeting held on Monday evening made a decision to close Nepal’s international border with India for one more month in a bid to stop further transmission of COVID-19. The decision, however, will not affect the cross-border movement of cargo vehicles from the designated entry points.
Cabinet sources said the decision is taken as both Nepal and India are witnessing a rising number of COVID-19 cases in recent days. There are fears that the increased cross-border movement in the wake of festive season could pose serious threat to the further transmission of COVID-19.
Nepal’s international border with China is already closed, although partially opened for cargo transport in recent days. Although in a regulated manner, the cross border movement between Nepal and India continued even during the pandemic.
The international flights between Nepal and India suspended earlier to contain the spread of COVID-19 are also yet to resume.
Earlier in the second week of August, the government had decided to allow cross-border movement of people only from ten designated border points, reviewing its earlier decision to open 20 border points. The decision came in the wake of the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in recent days mainly in the districts bordering with India.
The border points that remained opened so far for cross-border movement of cargo vehicles and Nepali nationals requiring to return home for some urgent purpose included Kakarbhitta in Jhapa, Rani in Morang, Madar in Siraha and Gaur in Rautahat district, Birgunj of Parsa, Belahiya in Rupandehi, Krishnanagar in Kapilvastu, Jamunaha in Banke, Gauriphanta in Kailai and Gaddachauki in Kanchanpur.