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India suspends travel visas till Apr 15

India suspends travel visas till Apr 15

India on Wednesday said it will suspend nearly all ordinary travel visas till Apr 15 to prevent further spread of the coronavirus, officials said.

The order will come into force from 1200 GMT, Mar 13.

The decision was taken after a meeting of top ministers to review the current status and management of COVID-19 in the country.

“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till Apr 15, 2020," an official statement said. 

“Visa free travel facility granted to OCI [Overseas Citizen of India] card holders is kept in abeyance till Apr 15, 2020." 

It said that any foreign national intending to travel to India for a "compelling reason" could contact the nearest Indian mission. 

The statement added that all travelers arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain, and Germany after Feb 15, 2020 "shall be be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days." 

It advised all incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, to avoid non-essential travel. 

At least 60 cases of the virus have so far been confirmed in India, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak a pandemic. The figure includes at least 16 foreigners, according to the Indian Health Ministry's website. 

The global tally is over 118,000 in 114 countries, with 4,292 fatalities.

- Source: News websites