File image of Bhutan agriculture minister Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor

Bhutan agriculture minister Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor said the import of Doma (betel nut) and Pani (betel leaf) has been banned from Tuesday.

Moreover, the agriculture minister has also said that the import of vegetables, fruits and meat have also been banned as a precautionary measure against coronavirus outbreak.

He also said that the decision has been taken after the Ministry of Health (MoH) has planned to spray and disinfect all goods coming into Bhutan.

He also clarified that the open items like vegetables, fruits, meat, betel nut and betel leaves cannot be disinfected so its import has been banned into the country.

The Himalyan kingdom of Bhutan has closed down all its international borders with India and has also restricted all the international crossings with effect from Tuesday.

In a statement, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan issued a public notification in this regard which read, “In view of the rapidly evolving situation in the region regarding COVID-19 and to mitigate the risks posed by this pandemic, all international borders shall be closed with effect from 6 am of Monday until further notice.”

The notification further pointed out that Bhutanese arriving at border crossings shall be allowed to enter Bhutan subject to medical screening and a mandatory two week quarantine at a designated facility adding that foreigners residing in the kingdom will be allowed to exit.

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