Amid the worldwide epidemic outbreak of Coronavirus which has so far claimed around 813 lives just in China, the aviation regulator DGCA announced that foreigners who visited China on after January 15, will not be allowed to enter India.
A notice conveying the news was issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Saturday, which read, "foreigners who have been to China on or after January 15, 2020, are not allowed to enter India from any air, land or seaport including India-Nepal, Indo-Bhutan, Indo-Bangladesh or Indo-Myanmar land borders."
The circular also stated that all visas and e-visas issued to Chinese nationals before February 5 have been suspended with immediate effect. However, in case of compelling reasons to travel to India, Chinese nationals have been asked to get in touch with the Embassy in Beijing or Consulates in Shanghai and Guangzhou for new visas, the circular reiterated. The visa restriction does not hold for the aircrew, who may either be Chinese nationals or other foreign nationalities coming from China.
A World Health Organisation-led international team is all set to leave for China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. According to media reports, the investigating team will leave for China on Monday or on Tuesday. When asked whether the team would include experts from the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), Pedros said, "We hope so".
Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO's top emergency expert, while talking to the press said that there has been a stabilization in the number of cases reported in the Hubei province of China in the past four days. However, Ryan further added that the decline should not be taken as containment of the disease as the situation can accelerate quickly.
According to the latest media reports, the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has claimed more than 800 lives in China alone and the confirmed reported cases have reached up to 34,000 as of February 8. The disease is believed to have originated in a seafood market in Hubei's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. As per the US CDC, confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 27 other countries, including France, the United Kingdom, and Japan.
China is battling the outbreak quite effectively as it has recently built an emergency hospital in Wuhan with an estimated capacity of 1,000 beds. The hospital was reportedly built under a record time of just eight days. China is also building another hospital in the city with a capacity of 1,600 beds as the country is facing a shortage of beds for the patients affected by the deadly disease.
(with inputs from ANI)