Headlines March 12, 2020
Coronavirus impact – Visas to India suspended until mid April
The government of India has suspended all visas to the country as the cases of coronavirus rose sharply. Altogether, 67 people have contracted the virus. Most of them are a group of tourists from Italy. In an order, the Union Health Ministry said all existing visas – diplomatic, official, UN/International organizations, employment, project – will be suspended till 15 April.
“This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure… Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian mission,” read a communique.
The World Health Organisation has declared the coronavirus as a pandemic. A disease or an outbreak is declared a pandemic when it occurs over a massive geographical area, for instance several continents. The virus, which originated in China’s Wuhan, has so far infected more than one lakh people around the world.
WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID19 can be characterized as a pandemic. – Tedros Adhanom, Chief, World Health Organisation
The Coronavirus scare has forced closure of schools and colleges in parts of the country. Delhi has shut its primary schools till March 31. Kashmir and Ladakh has shut its schools and colleges. The Maharashtra government has banned ticket sales for the 2020 Indian Premier League opener between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. The match is scheduled to be held on 29 March.
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