Coronavirus: India suspends issuing visas to Italians, Iranians

Thursday, 05 Mar, 2020

Regular (sticker) visas/e-Visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travelled to Peoples Republic of China, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Japan on or after 01.02.2020, and who have not yet entered India stand suspended with immediate effect.

Face masks on sale in Jordan at a mark-up. South Korea has over 5,100 cases, Italy over 2,000, Iran over 2,300 and Japan 283.

In Qingtian, local authorities issued the advisory after a recently arrived Chinese family from Italy tested positive for the virus.

These measures were drastic - but they appear to be paying off, with the situation slowly stabilizing in mainland China, and the rate of new cases decreasing daily. It has about 85% of the world's cases and 95% of deaths from the COVID-19 illness. On average, the death rate from seasonal flu is about 0.1%, said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Italy on Tuesday reported a jump in the number of deaths from the novel coronavirus to 79, with more than 2,500 people infected - the most of any country in Europe, as reported by news agency AFP.

The death toll in the US increased to eight, many connected into a nursing home near Seattle, while the total number of ailments taken past 100.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization released a troubling new statistic on the coronavirus Tuesday.

Short-term visitors who refuse to undergo the test will be denied entry, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). Tedros said he is concerned about the "severe and increasing disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment caused by rising demand".

At least 500 people queued outside a grocery store in Seoul to purchase masks Wednesday, together with President Moon Jae-in apologizing for deficits this past week.

The coronavirus infections showed signs of receding in China with 38 new fatalities, taking the total number of casualties to 2,981, Chinese health officials have said even as countries grappled to contain the fast-spreading deadly virus that has claimed over 3,100 lives globally.

A total of 149 USA coronavirus cases have now been confirmed, 39 of those in Washington state and 33 in California, CNN reported Wednesday. In Japan, a state of emergency has been declared in a northern province because of the growing number of coronavirus cases there, the AP reported.

"Mask costs have dropped anywhere and there are deficits, probably because hoarders are working to earn money in the public's expense", Jakarta police spokesman Yusri Yunus told AFP.

With the virus now reported in more than 80 countries, Saudi Arabia has barred citizens from making the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Iran has cancelled Friday prayers for a second week and leaders everywhere are pleading with citizens to put an end to the traditional symbol of mutual trust, the handshake.

Marriott - which has temporarily closed 90 of its 375 hotels in China - is waiving cancellation fees through March 15 for hotels in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Italy.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry has asked all private satellite news TV and FM radio channels to give adequate publicity to the revised travel advisory issued by the Health Ministry in the wake of Covid-19.

In the surrounding Hubei province, less than 200 new cases were reported in a single day - the first time since January.