News Alerts

11 Mar 2020 | 11:01 AM UTC

India: Travelers from France, Spain, and Germany restricted entry amid COVID-19 outbreak March 10 /update 8

India News Alert

Authorities restrict entry for travelers from France, Spain, and Germany in effort to halt COVID-19 spread March 10; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 3/11/2020, 12:00 AM until 4/1/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

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Event

On Tuesday, March 10, authorities announced that French, German, and Spanish nationals with visas issued before Wednesday, March 11, would have their visas suspended in efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Additionally, nationals from these countries and travelers having visited or transited through France, Spain, and Germany would be prohibited entry. Moreover, foreigners who have stayed in or transited through China, Italy, South Korea, Japan, or Iran since Friday, January 31, will be prohibited entry regardless of their nationality or flight's origin, and nationals from those countries will continue to have their visas suspended.

Special exemption visas may be applied for at Indian consulates worldwide to allow for vital travel to the country. However, anyone traveling from or having visited South Korea or Italy will have to submit a certificate stating they have tested negative for COVID-19 from designated laboratories in their countries.

All foreigners have been prohibited from entering Sikkim state, and Kerala state has suspended all public functions, closed cinemas and primary schools, and declared a state of high alert.

As of Wednesday, March 11, 56 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the country, with no associated deaths, and 4 people have recovered. Further international spread of the virus is likely over the coming weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone non-essential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

In the case that symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness emerge either during or after travel, travelers are encouraged to seek medical attention and share their travel history with their health care provider. Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to avoid potential spread of the disease.

 

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