Coronavirus: India suspends e-visa facility for people from China

Coronavirus: Quarantine facilities in Delhi to accommodate those returning from Wuhan
People wear face masks as they listen to a presentation in an Apple Store in the Sanlitun shopping district in Beijing as China is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, January 25, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Beijing/New Delhi: India on Sunday temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China in view of the virulent coronavirus that has killed more than 300 people, infected 14,562 others and spread to 25 countries, including India, the US and the UK.

“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 Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid," an Indian Embassy announcement said.

“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," it said.

On Sunday, India airlifted a second batch of 323 stranded Indians and seven Maldivian citizens from coronavirus-hit Wuhan city, taking the total number of people evacuated to 654.

Air India's jumbo B747 made two flights to Wuhan city - the ground zero of the coronavirus epidemic. In the first flight on early Saturday, 324 Indians were evacuated and on Sunday another 323 Indians and seven Maldivian citizens were flown back.

India has set up a Coronavirus quarantine facility at Haryana's Manesar, with the help of the Army, for 323 students who arrived from China's Wuhan.

Another quarantine facility for approximately 600 Indian families arriving from Wuhan has been swiftly created by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) near at its Chhawla camp here.

Responding to an emergency requirement to create and manage a facility to quarantine the returning Indian students, the Indian Army has swiftly set up the camp.

"After coming to India, the students will be taken directly to the quarantine facility where they can be monitored for a duration of two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members, to watch for any signs of infection," said an Indian Army officer.

Coronavirus: Quarantine facilities in Delhi to accommodate those returning from Wuhan
A view of the quarantine facility which has been setup by the Army for the 300 students, who are being brought back from coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China, at Manesar, Haryana, Delhi, Jan. 31, 2020. Photo: Twitter/PTI Photo

Screening at the airport will be done by a joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and the Airport Health Authority (APHO).

During the screening, the returning students will be classified into three groups.

The first group will be suspect cases where individuals with any signs of fever and/or cough and/or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment.

The second group would be 'close contact', comprising individuals without symptoms but having visited a seafood/animal market or a health facility or having come into contact with a Chinese person with symptoms in the last 14 days will be escorted in an earmarked vehicle directly to the quarantine facility.

The third group would be non-contact case. "Any individual without any symptom(s) or contact or who does not fit into either (a) or (b) will also be clubbed along with the close contact category and sent to the quarantine facility," the officer said.

The quarantine facility consists of accommodation barracks for the students, administrative areas and medical facility area.

To prevent mass outbreak, the facility has been divided into sectors, each with a maximum capacity of 50 students each.

"Each barrack has been further subdivided into barracks. The population of sectors will not be allowed to intermingle with each other," the officer said.

Daily medical examination of all students will be done at the medical facility area and all the staff, health care workers and housekeeping staff will be wearing personal protective equipment, comprising mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves, at all times.

All students and visitors will wear a three-layered mask at all times.

"After 14 days, persons with no symptoms will be allowed to go home with their detailed documentation sent to the district/state surveillance units for further surveillance," the officer said.

Those found infected will be shifted to BHDC's isolation ward for further medical exams and recovery. Samples for viral confirmation will be sent to the NCDC, Delhi and patients will be discharged only after clinical recovery and two successive negative samples tested for n-COV.

Apart from playing games, watching TV and having meals together within a barrack, no one will be allowed to interact with the members of another barrack and definitely not another sector.

The facility will be administered by a nominated Officer In Charge (OIC) who will have under his command a community medicine Specialist, two nursing officers, a woman medical officer and a nursing assistant. No civilian or service personnel detailed to work inside the facility will be allowed to go outside, unless compelled by extreme emergency situation.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.