Six foreign tourists who tried to sit out the coronavirus pandemic in an Indian cave after running out of money have been sent to coronavirus quarantine, according to police.
The four men and two women – from France, the United States, Ukraine, Turkey and Nepal – had been living in the cave near Rishikesh in Uttarakhand state, northern India since March 24, according to police inspector Rajendra Singh Kathait.
There have also been unconfirmed reports of some police officers in the state allegedly making foreign tourists write out lines on paper for breaking the curfew.
About 700 foreign tourists remain in Rishikesh, according to the state’s tourism department. Police in the state are allegedly making tourists write out lines on paper (as seen above)
The area was made famous by the Beatles, who came to Rishikesh in 1968 looking for refuge from Beatlemania and to experience Indian culture.
The foreign tourists have now been moved to Swarg Ashram, where they will be quarantined for 14 days, although none have shown coronavirus symptoms.
‘Before the lockdown began, they were living in a hotel in the Muni Ki Reti region but they moved to the cave after they ran out of money,’ Kathait said.
‘However, they had saved some money to buy food and other supplies.’
The Nepali man had been helping the group buy essential items, Kathait added.
A policeman is pictured wearing a coronavirus helmet to raise awareness of the virus. The world’s second-most populous nation of 1.3 billion people has reported more than 15,700 coronavirus cases including 507 deaths from the disease
India has been under a nationwide lockdown since late March, with residents permitted to leave their homes only for essential services such as buying groceries or medicine.
The lockdown was due to be lifted on April 15, but has been extended to at least May 3.
Some sectors – including agriculture and manufacturing – will be allowed to re-open from Monday to ease the hardships of poorer Indians.
About 700 foreign tourists remain in Rishikesh, according to the state’s tourism department, and the government has launched the website ‘Stranded in India’ to help travellers from abroad.
Numerous governments, including Germany, the US and Britain, have chartered flights to take their nationals home from India.
The world’s second-most populous nation of 1.3 billion people has reported more than 15,700 coronavirus cases including 507 deaths from the disease.
The area was made famous by the Beatles, who came to Rishikesh in 1968 looking for refuge from Beatlemania and to experience Indian culture. George Harrison is pictured above with Patti Boyd and Ravi Shankar visiting ruins