Coronavirus Scare: India Suspends All Visas For All Foreigners Till April 15th; Self-Quarantine Imposed
The entry of Coronavirus in the country has led to around 73 positive cases in India.
India imposed stringent travel curbs to the country as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Read to find out more…
India Bans Entry for Outsiders!
Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.
Covid-19 pandemic has led to 118,000 confirmed cases and 4,291 deaths in 114 countries. In India it has infected 73 with no confirmed deaths so far from the disease. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, all people infected by deadly coronavirus are showing signs of recovery.
On January 30, The WHO had classified the coronavirus outbreak as a global public health emergency and were reluctant to call it a pandemic over concerns that it would create unnecessary panic.
Earlier, Indian government had suspended visas granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and China. To curb the virus spread across the country, India has barred entry of nationals of three more countries — France, Germany and Spain.
The government late on March 11 suspended “all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/international organisations, employment, project visas” until April 15. The visa free travel facility for Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holders has been suspended until the same date. The curbs go into effect at 1200 GMT on March 13 at the port of departure.
The travel curb is likely to affect the Indian Businesses and Market even more!
The Union Health Ministry also advised people to withhold their travel to China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain and Germany. The citizens were also advised to avoid non-essential travel abroad.
No Change in Validity of Visas for Outsiders Already in India!
The decision for visa curb was followed by a meeting by a group of ministers (GoM). This included health minister Harsh Vardhan, aviation minister Hardeep Puri and foreign minister S Jaishankar. A committee of secretaries chaired by the cabinet secretary had made detailed recommendations to the GoM.
An official said, the latest measures only refer to those traveling to the country. “The circular is only applicable for those coming into India. For those already in India, the existing visas are valid and normal rules for extension apply.”
Any foreign national who needs to travel to India urgently will have to contact the nearest Indian mission including the holders of medical visas.
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the government also issued an advisory for those with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany. They are requested to undergo ‘self-imposed quarantine’ for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival.
The government also asked companies to arrange ‘work from home‘ facility for those employees who had a history of travelling to the mentioned places. International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities.
An Airlines executive said, the visa restriction will have an impact on flights to India, but it is too early to quantify.