India Suspends all Visas till April 15 after WHO Declares Coronavirus as "Pandemic"

India Suspends all Visas till April 15 after WHO Declares Coronavirus as "Pandemic"

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New Delhi, March 12, 2020:

The global Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease has been declared as 'pandemic' by the World Health Organisation (WHO) following the death toll rising to over 4,000 and 1,18,000 confirmed cases across as many as 114 countries. Meanwhile, with 60 positive Coronavirus cases in India, all the visas remain suspended till April 15.

According to WHO's assessment of the virus, it said that COVID-19 “can be characterised as a pandemic.”

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak round-the-clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” it was quoted as saying.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while addressing a press conference, said, "Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death."

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It may be mentioned here that 90 percent of the virus is concentrated in just four countries. Dr. Ghebreyesus said that 81 countries had not yet reported any COVID-19 cases, and 57 countries had reported 10 case or less.

“We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” he said.

Responding to this, the Central government of India on March 11 night issued a new travel advisory stating that all existing visas, except diplomatic, official, U.N./International Organisations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till April 15 and this order will come into effect from March 13 at the port of departure. The advisory noted that visa-free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15 and also comes into effect from March 13.

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Edited By: Admin
Published On: Mar 12, 2020