Foreign tourists found self-isolating in Indian cave

Foreign tourists found self-isolating in Indian cave

(CNN) – People living under coronavirus locking measures adapt as best they can, but six foreign tourists have taken an unusual approach by hiding in a cave in India.

The group lived in a cave near Rishikesh, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand made famous by the Beatles, for almost a month before being found by the police and put into action. quarantine in an ashram on Sunday, according to a police official.

Tourists – four men and two women from France, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States and Nepal – originally stayed in a hotel, but ran out of money and took refuge in the cave, said Mukesh Chand , Uttarakhand police spokesperson. .

“They have been living in the cave since March 24, the police found them on Sunday and transferred them to Swarg Ashram near Rishikesh, we asked them to self-quarantine for two weeks as a precaution but the group seemed to be in good health, “said Chand. CNN.

The group was rationing their remaining money to buy food and other items, he added.

Indian and foreign tourists have been banned from entering Uttarakhand state since March 20 due to the coronavirus epidemic, according to a decree from the state government.

India is the second most populous country in the world and the fifth largest economy, and there are fears that the country’s health systems will not be able to cope with a major virus epidemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a national lockdown on March 24, which took effect from midnight.

Since that time, only essential services have been operational in the country of 1.3 billion inhabitants, including water, electricity, health care, fire services, grocery stores and municipal services.

The measures were due to expire on April 14, but Modi then extended them until at least May 3.

Authorities have launched a website called “Stranded in India” to provide assistance to foreigners stranded in the country during the nationwide lockdown.

India has recorded 17,615 cases of coronavirus and 559 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Rishikesh is known as the yoga capital of the world and the Beatles visited the city in 1968. They wrote about 40 songs during their trip, some of which featured on “Abbey Road” and “The White Album”.

Manveena Suri and Helen Regan of CNN contributed to this report.

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