Thursday, March 19, 2020

Doors shut on many countries but not US

New Delhi: India on Wednesday shut its doors on all intending travellers — even Indians — from 33 countries in Europe, including the UK, as part of escalating responses to minimise the impact of the novel coronavirus.

Officials declined to explain the criteria on which passenger traffic had been blocked from select countries but not other coronavirus-hit countries, including the US.

A document the foreign ministry tabled in Parliament said: “No airline will bring any passenger from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK effective 12.00 GMT March 18 at the port of departure.”

India has also blocked any airlines from bringing passengers from the Philippines, Malaysia and Afghanistan from 3pm on March 17.

Earlier travel advisories had imposed mandatory quarantine on travellers from China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Spain, France and Germany on or after February 15 and from Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates from March 18.

Health officials have described the travel advisories as escalating efforts to contain the coronavirus that had till Wednesday been detected in 151 people — 125 Indians and 26 foreigners — in India. Of these, 14 patients have been discharged and three have died.
19/03/20 Anita Joshua and G.S. Mudur/Telegraph
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