As Coronavirus continues to spread in parts of Europe, Iran, and South Korea after originating from China, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked citizens to avoid non-essential travel to the respective countries. “People coming from Republic of Korea, Iran and Italy or having such travel history since February 10, 2020 may be quarantined for 14 days on arrival to India,” the ministry said in a travel advisory.

This is in addition to the travel advisory issued earlier in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The last one issued on February 22 advised citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Singapore. It also said screening at airports is now being planned for flight passengers coming to India from Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia from Monday.

Currently, passengers from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan are screened at 21 designated airports in the country for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The news comes after more than 81,000 people have been infected with virus, and 2,762 have died, the vast majority of cases in mainland China and in particular Hubei province.

After China, South Korea has emerged s the biggest center of the COVID -19 with total 1,261 cases. In Italy the number of confirmed cases has risen to 374 and 12 people have lost their lives. In Iran 16 people have died and almost 100 cases have emerged.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, highlighted what appeared to be a slowing in the rate of new infections inside China, where the outbreak began, as well as a number of countries that appeared to have nipped incipient outbreaks in the bud.

However, he said, “The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning. There are now cases linked to Iran in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Oman. There are now cases linked to Italy in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland.”

“Yesterday, a joint team between WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Rome to review the public health measures that have been put in place and provide technical support. A WHO team will travel to Iran this weekend to provide support.”