Coronavirus: Kartarpur Corridor will be operational, says Indian official1 min read . Updated: 13 Mar 2020, 07:50 PM IST
Indian officials have indicated increased screening of people coming back through the corridor to prevent infections from spiking in India
NEW DELHI : The scare around the spread of the Coronavirus infections nothwithstanding, India and Pakistan have kept open a corridor that Indian pilgrims use to visit a revered Sikh shrine in Pakistan’s Kartarpur area.
According to Anil Malik, joint secretary in charge of the foreigners cell in the Indian Home Ministry, the Kartarpur Corridor opened between India and Pakistan in November last year remains open despite all the other stringent measures taken by India to prevent the virus from spreading in the country. As of Friday, India had 81 cases of the SARS-CoV2 infections including one dead.
Malik told reporters on Friday that the corridor was still open and 357 people had registered on Friday to cross over and visit the gurudwara where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, had spent the last years of his life. The corridor was opened despite tensions between the two countries last year.
Indian officials have indicated increased screening of people coming back through the corridor to prevent infections from spiking in India.
Malik’s comments on the corridor remaining open despite the scare of the COVID-19 spread comes as India announced a suspension of visas for all foreign nationals for a month. India also suspended bus and train links between India and Bangladesh and closed as many as 18 of 37 land border crossings between India and Nepal and India and Bangladesh.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a conference of the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka to discuss a strategy to combat the spread of the disease – a move welcomed by all countries of South Asia with the exception of Pakistan.