Italian couple, 2 other foreigners in Kashmir

Srinagar, Mar 18: Despite ban on foreign tourists from entering Kashmir, the Government Wednesday allowed the entry of at least four foreign tourists including a couple from Italy into the valley.

The entry of foreign tourists has been banned in Jammu and Kashmir as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The order to ban the entry of foreign tourists was recently issued by Baseer Khan, the Adviser to the Lieutenant Governor.

Quoting sources local news agency Kashmir News Trust (KNT) reported that four tourists landed at Srinagar Airport on Wednesday.

“Among those who arrived in Srinagar were a couple from Italy, a citizen from United States and one from Russia. Ironically, the authorities didn’t deport these tourists and allowed them to enter into Kashmir,” the news agency reported.

Sources, as per it, added that all the four tourists hired a cab at the Srinagar Airport and are staying in a houseboat (name withheld) somewhere near Nehru Park.

Confirming the same, District Development Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Chowdhary said the four tourists will be sent back on Thursday.

“There is nothing to worry. We had issued the advisory last night but these tourists were already present in India and they have toured Rajasthan and other areas. We have done proper screening and they will be sent back tomorrow,” the DC was quoted saying by KNT.

COVID-19 has been declared an epidemic in Jammu and Kashmir, and surveillance personnel have been authorized to enter any premises to look for suspects infected with the virus. (With inputs from KNT)

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