The Indian government has implemented harsh travel restrictions, banning all visas for a month in the wake of coronavirus fears.

Indian officials have also confirmed that visa-free travel which is afforded to overseas Indian citizens will also be revoked until April 15th 2020. The restrictive process will begin on Friday (March 13).

Currently only diplomats, officially sanctioned personnel, and employment visas and those working on special projects will be exempt from the new visa restrictions in place.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has confirmed that 74 patients have been found to be positive with the virus, including foreign nationals present in the country. The southern state of Kerala has 17 cases.

The action is being taken to kerb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has so far infected more than 118,000 people worldwide and killed over 4,200.

The disease was first detected in China’s Hubei province, before spreading to other parts of the world.  The number of cases and fatalities in other countries has dramatically risen in recent weeks, sparking concerns about governments’ abilities to contain the infection. Among the worst hit outside China are Italy, Iran, and South Korea.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global pandemic on Wednesday.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been successful in isolating 11 samples of COVID-19 from these patients, including those from Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

R Gangakhedkar, Head of Infectious Diseases at ICMR., said: “While the virus is difficult to isolate, our first efforts to isolate 11 samples from patients who have been infected have been successful. Isolating the virus is a prime requisite for conducting research.”

The Indian Health Ministry said:

“All Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad.

“Indian nationals presently abroad are advised to avoid non-essential travel.”

Any Indian nationals coming back to India could be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon return to India. The Indian Health Ministry has announced the travel restrictions will be reviewed again in a month’s time.

The visa ban will have a negative upon tourism which India relies upon in this season.

The Indian Health Ministry has confirmed that there are now 73 confirmed cases of coronavirus. This low number is expected to rise dramatically as results of tests which were conducted recently become available.

Thew news follows the Italian government tightening its coronavirus quarantine yesterday (Wednesday 11), ordering bars, restaurants and hairdressing and beauty salons to close, after the highest daily increase in deaths of any country outside China since the outbreak began.


Coronvirus in the UK and Midlands

A woman wearing a face mask in London's Oxford Street amid news of the coronavirus pandemicAdam Yosef
A woman wearing a face mask in London’s Oxford Street amid news of the coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 Coronavirus is spreading globally at an alarming rate, with concerns heightened due to the lack of vaccine for the virus’ current strain, which can be lethal to those with weakened immune systems.

Last week, a patient at the Royal Berkshire Hospital who tested positive for coronavirus was confirmed as the UK’s first Coronvirus related fatality. This came on the same day an individual in Birmingham tested positive for coronavirus, becoming the city’s first patient with the infection.

Ten people have since died in the UK from the virus, with the UK government’s chief medical adviser suggesting people who show “even minor” signs of respiratory tract infections or a fever could soon be told to self-isolate in an effort to tackle the outbreak.

There are now 596 confirmed cases in the UK, up from 456 on Wednesday. 491 of these are in England, 60 in Scotland, 20 in Northern Ireland and 25 in Wales.

The latest two deaths were an 89-year-old at Charing Cross Hospital in London and a woman in her 60s at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, according to NHS England. They also confirmed both patients had underlying health conditions.

The government is expected to announce that it is stepping up its coronavirus response, in order to delay its spread. This comes after initial plans to attempt to contain the spread. 29,764 people had been tested for the virus in the UK so far.


If you’re worried about coronavirus symptoms or have related concerns, please visit: https://gov.uk/coronavirus.

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