Following suit of Japan and other countries, now the Indian government has canceled existing visas of Chinese and other foreign travelers who have been to China in the past two weeks. The recent decision has been taken in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. So far, Coronavirus has infected 20,438 people in China and has killed 427 people, including the deaths in Hongkong and the Philippines. The situation is getting worse, and the virus has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. The WHO has yet not labeled the virus as a pandemic but has declared it as an epidemic with multiple foci.
How has Coronavirus affected India?
India has evacuated a total of 647 citizens and seven Maldivians from Wuhan. The evacuated people have been kept at two separate quarantine facilities, one in Manesar in Haryana and another one in Chhawla Camp in NCR. The quarantine facilities are being monitored and managed by Indian Army personnel and ITBP respectively.
Those quarantined at the two said facilities are being tested for symptoms of Coronavirus. So far, 160 people have been tested and fortunately, the results are negative. Though one of the doctors who were in the evacuation mission has shown symptoms of cough and cold, it seems to be unlikely that he would have contracted Coronavirus infection. Five people from the quarantine camp, who complained of cough, cold and sore throat have been shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on a precautionary basis.
How is India countering the threat of Coronavirus?
Other than canceling existing visas of Chinese nationals and those who have been to the fated country in recent weeks, the Indian government has placed scanners at aerobridges of all its seven international airports. The Union Health Minister, Preeti Sudan has issued directions that flyers from high-risk countries namely China, Hongkong, Thailand, and Singapore will have to pass through scanners placed at aerobridges at all the seven international airports.
Further, the visa rules are being tightened for Chinese travelers. Travelers who have come from China after January 15 and are already in India have been requested to contact the hotline number of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Government of India (+91-11-23978046 and email: [email protected].