• Victor Mohan

India records 60 cases of COVID-19 as it calls for a blanket suspension of all visas

Quick points:

1. The WHO earlier today declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

2. India recorded 60 cases of COVID-19 as of March 11, 2020.

3. The government of India in a tweet announced that it would be suspending all issued visas till April 15, 2020 and advised Indians to avoid all non-essential travel.

Earlier today, the Indian Ministry of Health announced via twitter that it would be suspending all issued visas except for diplomatic or official purposes at 12:00 GMT on 13th March, 2020. Further, it cautioned Indians against non-essential travel adding that all citizens returning from or passing through China, Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy, Germany or Spain would be subject to a 14-day quarantine minimum. Travels from other parts of the world would be subject to medical screening and may also be quarantined.

This announcement closely follows the declaration of 'pandemic' of COVID-19 by the WHO earlier in the day. The WHO had made this declaration in response to the rise in total global deaths to 4,000 and total cases to 1,22,000. Out of these cases, 60 have been recorded in India.

These announcements are keeping in line with the health ministers assertion last week that the country was prepared to handle a pandemic. By keeping its borders secure, the country is trying to prevent further imported cases of COVID-19 from entering the country.