New Delhi: India has declared COVID-19 outbreak in the country a “notified disaster”, in a move to contain the spread of the infectious virus. In a statement issued here, the government said money from each state’s Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) would be used for temporary accommodation and supply of food, water and medical care for patients and people in quarantine camps. SDRF funds will also be used, the government said, to pay for additional testing centres and the cost of protective equipment for police, healthcare and municipal authorities, as well as that of thermal scanners and other necessary equipment for government hospitals.
There are over 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, with at least two deaths linked to the virus – a 68-year-old woman who died on Friday and a 76-year-old man who died on Thursday.
The World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019) as a global pandemic. In order to contain the spread of the disease, Government of India has taken the following measures :-
(i) All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
(ii) Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This has come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
(iii) Any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission.
(iv) All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15th February, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
(v) Incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.
(vi) Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all nonessential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
(vii) Provision for testing primarily for students/compassionate cases in Italy to be made and collection for samples to be organized accordingly. Those tested negative will be allowed to travel and will be quarantined on arrival in India for 14 days.
(viii) All types of passenger movements through all Immigration Land Check Posts located at Indo-Bangladesh border, IndoNepal Border, Indo-Bhutan Border and Indo-Myanmar Border will be suspended with effect from 0000 hours March 15th 2020 till further orders except through designated posts as mentioned in MHA OM No25022/12/2017-Imm dated 13th March 2020
(ix) Travellers are further advised to adhere to advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 11th March 2020
(x) Frequently Asked Questions on New Visa restrictions in view of COVID-19 outbreak may be seen at the following link:-