NEW DELHI: As the coronavirus epidemic gathered intensity with over 305 recorded deaths in China alone, India on Sunday suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners travelling from China.
“Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect,” the Indian Embassy in Beijing announced on Twitter. “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 Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid,” it added.
While India has not yet suspended flights as the US has done, the Indian embassy in Beijing has left a window open for emergency/important travellers from China to India. “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,“ the statement said.
An additional concern emerged on Sunday when the Chinese government said it was tackling a bird flu outbreak in Hunan province, which is adjacent to Hubei province, the scene of the coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday, India airlifted a second batch of 323 stranded Indians and seven Maldivian citizens from Wuhan, taking the number of people evacuated to 654. Air India's 747 jumbo jet made two flights to Wuhan — ground zero of the coronavirus epidemic. In the first flight early on Saturday, 324 Indians were evacuated though a couple of people who showed symptoms like fever had to be left behind. Those who returned have been kept in quarantine for two weeks, before they are allowed out.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Sunday, “Seven Read More – Source