Coronavirus in India: Govt issues fresh travel advisory

The government issued a fresh travel advisory for citizens in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

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NEW DELHI: The government issued a fresh travel advisory for citizens in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.

The ministry of health and family welfare advised Indian citizens to refrain from traveling to China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy and Japan and advised to avoid non-essential travel to other coronavirus affected countries.

On visa restrictions, the government reiterated that all regular (sticker) visas/e-visa (including VoA for Japan and South Korea) granted to nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and issued on or before March 3, 2020 who have not yet entered India, stand suspended with immediate effect.

“Those requiring to travel to India due to compelling reasons, may seek fresh visa from nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate,” the statement from the ministry of health said.

It added, “Regular (sticker) visa/e-visa granted to nationals of China, issued on or before February 5, 2020 were suspended earlier. It shall remain in force. Those needing to travel to India under compelling circumstances may apply for fresh visa to nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate.”

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“Regular (sticker) visas/e-visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or after February 1, 2020 and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect. Those requiring traveling to India under compelling circumstances may apply for fresh visa to nearest Indian Embassy/Consulate,” the government said.

The government said that in addition to visa restrictions already in place, passengers traveling from/having visited Italy or Korea and desirous of entering India will need a certificate of having tested negative for coronavirus from the designated laboratories authorized by the health authorities of these countries. “This will be enforced from 0000 hours of March 10, 2020, and is a temporary measure till cases of Covid-19 subside.

“All international passengers entering into India are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) to health officials and immigration officials and undergo universal health screening at the designated health counters at all points of entry,” the ministry added.

The health ministry also asked people to follow basic health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus:
* Observe good personal hygiene.
* Monitor your health.
* Practice frequent hand washing with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
* Follow respiratory etiquettes – cover your mouth with tissue or handkerchief while coughing.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
* Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness, such as cough, difficulty in breathing etc.
* Wear a mask if you have symptoms such as cough, fever or difficulty in breathing.
* Contact local doctor immediately if you have cough, fever or difficulty in breathing.

While returning to India, if a traveler feels sick during his/her journey, they should inform the airlines crew about illness.
* Seek mask from the airline crew.
* Follow the directions of airline crew.
* Follow the direction of the airport health officer after disembarkation.

If a traveler feels sick (cough/fever or difficulty in breathing) within 28 days after return from coronavirus affected areas:
* Immediately call the Helpline number (011-23978046), inform about your travel history and follow the directions provided.
* Isolate yourself at home and wear a mask till such time you are examined by a doctor from health authority.
* Follow the directions of the health authority

For any queries related to health, people may contact the ministry of health & family welfare 24*7 at helpline number (+91-11-23978046) or email at (ncov2019@gmail.com).

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