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Coronavirus: Indian Government Suspends All Tourist Visas till April 15; Check Facts

Coronavirus: Indian Government Suspends All Tourist Visas till April 15; Check FactsRepresentational Image
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Overall, 67 people in India are infected with the coronavirus - a large group of them are Italy tourists.

The Indian government has suspended all visas to India as the coronavirus cases have sharply increased, and the WHO declared it a pandemic. Overall, 67 people in India are infected with the coronavirus -- a large group of them are Italy tourists. The Union health ministry said all current visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, project and employment visas would be suspended till April 15. "This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure," read a message issued on Wednesday late night after a meeting of a Group of Ministers headed by health minister Dr Harshvardhan. Visa facilities had been partly suspended earlier from the coronavirus infected nations, countries where the virus is on a charge.

Check out these eight facts:

1. The WHO has declared the coronavirus a pandemic means a disease that spread across the world and affected a large number of people. In a chain of tweets, the WHO said it was "deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity (of the virus) and by the alarming levels of inaction".

2. The government message that announced the suspension of the visa this evening, also said, "Visa-free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure".

3. It also said all travellers incoming, including Indian nationals from COVID-19 nations – China Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany -- after February 15, shall be quarantined for at least 14 days.

4. The message read, "International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These will be notified separately". In India, the total confirmed cases of coronavirus are 67, including new cases reported in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka.

5. The Maharashtra government has barred ticket sales for the 2020 IPL (Indian Premier League) opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The match will be held on March 29 and will be the first of the 13th season of the IPL which will last till May 24 at various venues across India.

6. Maharashtra has reported 10 coronavirus cases – two out of which are in Mumbai and eight are from Pune. More than 40 "First contacts" of five coronavirus patients have been kept under observation in Maharashtra. Three cases got detected in Jaipur, two of these are Italians, and a third is an Indian national who returned from Dubai.

7. The coronavirus fears forced the closing of schools and colleges in parts of India. Delhi has closed its primary schools till March 31. Kashmir and Ladakh have shut its schools and colleges, and the IIM has adjourned its annual convocation.

8. Every state in India is taking its own measures against the virus. The Union Health Ministry has invoked Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act and asked all state to raise Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act.

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