Daily US Times: As India battles a major wave of Covid-19, there is concern about rising infection levels in the country’s neighbours.
Travel and other restriction measures have been introduced in the South Asian country with 1.4 billion population amid fears that poorly resourced local health services will be unable to cope.
In India, daily Covid-19 case numbers and deaths began rising in March and then surged dramatically.
India’s immediate neighbours have also seen Covid cases rising – although on different trajectories.
There’s particular concern about Nepal, which saw sharply rising in coronavirus infections in April. More than 40% of all Covid tests in the country are showing a positive result, according to the Red Cross, citing government data.
Nepal shares a 1,880km land border with India, and many people regularly cross it for business, family and tourism reasons.
It was reported that Nepal’s former king Gyanendra had tested positive for coronavirus after making a visit to India, although it’s not clear where he caught the virus.
The Nepalese authorities brought in additional health checks at border crossings in March, finally closing more than 20 crossing points on 1 May.
Restrictions were imposed in the Capital Kathmandu valley area on 29 April.
Bangladesh, another neighbour of India, saw case numbers rising from early March, and brought in a national lockdown on 5 April. This has now been extended to 16 May.
The land border between India and Bangladesh was also closed to passenger traffic for two weeks from 26 April, although some people are still being allowed to cross.
Daily reported coronavirus cases in Bangladesh have come down significantly since then.
You may read: The ‘black fungus’ maiming Covid patients in India