Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province and epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, has suspended visa and passport services for Chinese citizens until January 30 in order to strengthen control over the virus outbreak, the city’s exit-entry bureau said in a statement on Monday. The Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday has called the outbreak a ‘grave situation’ after officials across China failed to contain the deadly viral infection.
The outbreak of Coronavirus in the city of Wuhan has killed as many as 80 people in China and over 2500 cases of people infected by the virus was reported by PTI. The outbreak of the virus at a time when the nation celebrates Lunar New Year has created an atmosphere of fear and dulled the festivities. The Chinese government has imposed travel restrictions on a number of cities in Hubei province and people have been asked to wear face masks in public places.
The External Affairs Ministry said on Sunday that as of now, no Indian in China has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the embassy in Beijing is in touch with all Indians, including university students, in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei province. India has also intensified measures to check passengers for coronavirus. The Civil Aviation Ministry has directed seven international airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to make arrangements for the screening of passengers arriving from China in the wake of the outbreak.
Though the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet classified the virus as an international emergency considering the low number of overseas cases, however, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called it 'an emergency in China'.
According to the WHO, symptoms of Coronavirus may include runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat and fever. In more severe cases, it may lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. Experts and researchers are yet to understand the destructive potential of the new virus and have yet not found a cure for the same.