Do not travel to China: Indian govt to citizens

Issuance of Indian e-visas to Chinese passport holders or foreign nationals living or travelling from China has been temporarily suspended

By Banjot Kaur
Published: Sunday 02 February 2020
Photo: CoronaVirus Breaking News @NCOVNEWS / Twitter

India has asked all its citizens to refrain from travelling to China. A statement to this effect was issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on the evening of February 2, 2020. 

This is a revised travel advisory. The one issued last week said ‘non-essential’ travel should be avoided. It was not a blanket advice against all sorts of travel.  

In addition, anyone with a travel history of China since January 15, 2020, and from now on, could be quarantined, the MoHFW said. On January 30, it had said that all those who had arrived from China since January 15 would be 'tested', clarifying, that their blood samples would be sent to laboratories. However, this now stands changed.

Issuance of Indian e-visas to those who hold Chinese passports as well as foreign nationals who live in or have travelled from China, has been temporarily suspended, the Embassy of India in China said in a statement issued at noon on February 2. 

Those who have already been issued e-visas would also be not allowed to travel. If there was a compelling reason for travel, the person concerned may contact the Indian Embassy, two Indian consulates in China and the visa application centres there.

India is the third country, after the United States and Australia, to institute such a ban. 

The World Health Organization is against all such bans. When it declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency on January 31, the United Nations health body made it explicitly clear that it was opposed to travel restrictions and asked its member-states to be reasonable and scientific enough in making such decisions. 

Meanwhile, a second case of the novel coronavirus in India was confirmed early on the morning of February 2, in Kerala by the MoHFW. In the morning, the Kerala government’s health minister K K Shailja had said that she had no laboratory report to confirm the case though the Centre might have announced it in the media.

In the evening bulletin, the Kerala government confirmed the second case. The student hails from Alappuzha district. Both, this case and the one identified earlier, are stable.  The state government said 1,999 travellers have been screened, out of which, 1,924 are under home surveillance and 75 are in isolation facilities in various hospitals of the state. 

The total number of cases across the world stood at 14,628 while the number of deaths has risen up to 304.

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