New Delhi: The government on Tuesday banned all India-bound airlines from boarding any passengers from China on an e-visa, in view of the rapid spread of novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan.
As of Tuesday, 425 people have died due to the outbreak and around 20,000 people tested positive for the virus infection in China.
In a letter issued by the Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs, Kolkata, the government said: “All airlines are informed not to take on board any passenger from China, including Chinese or other foreign nationals who may be holding valid (electronic travel authority) ETA/e-visa to board their aircraft for any destination in India.”
The implementation of the order “starts with immediate effect and shall remain in force till further notice”, the letter said.
The notice was signed by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, Kolkata.
The decision came two days after around 650 Indians, who had signed consent forms for evacuation by the government, were brought back from China. All of them are undergoing a 14-day quarantine process in Delhi at the moment.
Following the evacuation, the Indian embassy in China had said: “Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands temporarily suspended with immediate effect.”
It had also informed that “holders of already issued e-visas were no longer valid”.
However, the embassy has asked Indian citizens in China to contact them in Beijing or consulates and Indian visa application centres in Shanghai and Guangzhou in case there was a “compelling reason” to visit India.