India has temporarily suspended all the visas and e-visas granted on or before March 11 to nationals of three more coronavirus-affected countries -- France, Germany and Spain -- effective immediately, as part of the measure to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Earlier, the government had suspended visas and e-visas for nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and China.
The decision was taken during a high-level review meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba with secretaries of the concerned ministries or departments to review the status, actions, preparedness and management of COVID-19 cases in the country.
"With respect to restrictions on visa, besides the already issued instructions, all regular visas (including e-visas) which have been granted to nationals of France, Germany and Spain on or before March 11, 2020, and where these foreigners have not yet entered India stands suspended," an official release said.
Visas and e-visas granted to all foreign nationals who have travel history to aforementioned countries on or after February 1 and who have not yet entered India also stand suspended.
"Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid and they may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO (Foreigners' Regional Registration Office) module for extension or conversion of their visa or grant of any consular service, if they choose to do so. A notification to this effect is being issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI)," the statement said.
In addition, the government also issued an advisory, calling on passengers with travel history to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany to undergo self-imposed quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival, and their employers to facilitate work-from-home for such employees during this period.
Further, in continuation of already issued advisories on travel, the government has advised its citizens to refrain from travelling to France, Spain and Germany.
At least 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country, till now. After the 44 positive cases declared on Monday, three positive cases were reported from Bengaluru (with travel history from the US via Dubai), one more from Bengaluru with travel history from the US via Heathrow, and two positive cases from Pune (travel history from Dubai).
Three of the total cases (earlier cases from Kerala) have been discharged now. Of these 50 cases, 34 are Indian nationals and 16 are Italians. In addition, the two deaths reported from Murshidabad and Ladakh yesterday were both found to be negative for COVID-19, the statement said.
More than 1,400 contacts have been put under surveillance for these positive cases, till date. Also, a total of 404 Indian contacts of the US citizen tested positive for COVID-19 in Bhutan have been identified and put under surveillance in Assam.
Additionally, the first batch of 58 evacuees from Iran arrived today with 25 men, 31 women and two children on board.
"The IAF C-17 flight arrived at 9.27 am today. All the evacuees are monitored and clinically stable presently," the statement said.