The Tripura government on March 11 decided to shut down all the border haats (markets) with Bangladesh as part of the safety measures against novel coronavirus.
A memorandum has been issued from the health and family welfare department saying that mass gatherings in any form may be avoided or possibly be postponed till the outbreak of the disease is contained, The Telegraph India reported.
"All citizens are requested to restrict mass gatherings to avoid severe acute respiratory illness (SAR) case and influenza-like illness, including Covid-19. In case a gathering cannot be avoided, the organiser should ensure precautionary material, according to the directives sent out to allconcerned. This restriction may continue until further orders," the memo said.
It said to contain the chain of infection, particularly from Bangladesh immigrants, the land customs and BSF authorities should issue a directive to all their staff to follow hygiene protocols.
"For the time being, immigrants with a suspected case history and suffering from any respiratory symptoms should be assessed properly before their entry into our state. Moreover, all border haats may be closed for the time being in consultation with Bangladesh authorities," the memo read.
Tripura has two functional border haats with Bangladesh at Kamalasagar in Sepahijala district and Srinagar in South Tripura.
Three more border haats are also in the pipeline.
The department has also directed all district magistrates and collectors to take an initiative for regular sanitisation and awareness generation drives at all bus/truck terminus, shopping malls and cinema halls.
"Setting up help desks at Dharmanagar railway station of North district/inter-state bus terminus may be ensured for awareness generation and self-reporting by travellers. Besides, periodical review of the situation may also be made through district surveillance unit meetings," the memorandum said.
Dharmanagar railway station is one of the main entry points for passengers coming from Assam and other states.
The memorandum added that the district health officials should ensure the proper functioning of identified quarantine places and identify more such places for any emergency.
Tripura health and family welfare director Radha Debbarma said a Bangladeshi national was sent back from Agartala-Akhaura international checkpost (CIP) after a medical helpdesk screened him with high body temperature during the thermal scanner check-up for coronavirus.
The clarification comes in the midst of rumours that an Indian citizen was denied entry into Bangladesh after thermal scanners picked up high temperatures on his body.
"Not a single person has been infected with the virus in Tripura. We have recently identified 28 people who have a recent visit history to coronavirus-affected countries. Nineteen of them have been cleared. Others haven't shown any symptoms but are still under self-observation," the health and family welfare director said.