Nepal on Monday closed its border with neighbouring India and China for seven days after the Himalayan nation also suspended all international passenger flights in a bid to prevent a possible coronavirus outbreak.
According to the Finance Minister, Yubaraj Khatiwada, all cross-border movements will be restricted for seven days from 10 a.m (or 0415 GMT) until March 29.
“The supply of essential goods will continue as usual. The lockdown of the borders could be extended further following dialogue with India and China,” Khatiwada said.
Nepal shares borders with China on its Northern side and with India on the other three sides.
The border lockdown with its neighbours comes into effect just hours after Nepal suspended all international flights, except cargo and emergency ones and passenger flights to evacuate foreigners stranded in the country.
Nepal had only one confirmed patient with the new coronavirus, who has since recovered.
However, the government has taken several measures including the cancellation of all climbing and trekking permits, the closure of educational institutions and all frontline services excluding emergency services to prevent an outbreak.
According to Kathmandu’s Traffic Police Superintendent, Raj Baidawar, hundreds of thousands of internal migrants have fled Kathmandu in the last few days due to panic over the novel virus.