The Indian government has suspended visas of all arriving travellers, until April 15, amid the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement issued by the country's Immigration bureau, only visas issued to diplomats, UN/international organisation officials, and that related to projects and employment, will be exempted from the ruling, which comes into force from today midnight.
"Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO module for extension/conversion of their visa or grant of any consular service if they choose to do so.
"Visa free travel facility granted to OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) card holders shall be kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India," read the statement.
The enforcement comes following the rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India to 60 on Wednesday - the same day the World Health Organisation (WHO) termed the disease as a pandemic.
According to the statement further, any foreign national who intends to travel to India for "compelling reasons" may contact their nearest Indian Mission to apply for a fresh visa.
All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals arriving from any destination and having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany on or after February 15, 2020 shall also be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days, at their port of departure, the directive read further.
You can find out more details about the visa restrictions at this website.
COVID-19 has killed thousands of people worldwide, and in Malaysia, 149 have been reported infected, as of Wednesday.
Photo source: msn.com, thehindu.com, rojakdaily.com.
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