India today temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China in view of the deadly-Coronavirus that has killed more than 300 people, infected 14,562 others and spread to 25 countries, including India, the US and the UK.
The Indian Embassy announced in Beijing. “Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect.”
This applies to holders of Chinese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the People’s Republic of China. Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid,” the announcement said.
According to the announcement, all those who have a compelling reason to visit India may contact the Embassy of India in Beijing or the Indian consulates in Shanghai or Guangzhou, as well as the Indian Visa Application Centres in these cities.
Meanwhile, India on Sunday reported its second case of novel Coronavirus from Kerala, who had returned from China recently, testing positive, after the first case too was confirmed from the state from Thrissur in Kerala with a student testing positive.
“Second positive case of Novel Coronavirus patient, has been reported in Kerala. The patient has a travel history from China. The patient is stable and is being closely monitored,” central government said in a statement. The patient is said to have returned from China on January 24.
In Rajasthan three persons suspected to have symptoms of Coronavirus were admitted to SMS Government Hospital here, an official said on Sunday. They were admitted to the hospital on Saturday. Their blood samples have been collected and the report is expected to come by Sunday evening, Dr D S Meena, Superintendent of SMS hospital said. He added that the patients have been kept in isolation.
Today, the second Air India flight Boeing 747 brought back 323 stranded Indian nationals and seven Maldivian nationals from the deadly Coronavirus (CoV)-hit Wuhan city in China. In India, two positive cases of the virus have been confirmed from Kerala.
The total number of people evacuated so far are 654 with the special flight departing at 3:10 am (IST) from Wuhan today and landing at New Delhi airport around 9:45 am.
The Coronavirus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003. Like SARS, it can be passed among people through the respiratory tract. The symptoms of infection include fever, cough and breathing problems.
The Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus in China is a novel strain and not seen before.
This is the sixth time the WHO has declared a public health emergency of international concern after it did so during the outbreaks of H1N1 in 2009; the Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014 and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019; polio in 2014; and the Zika virus in 2016.
(With PTI inputs)