Coronavirus: India cancels existing visas of Chinese nationals

Earlier, India had suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China

China, death toll, coronavirus, infected cases, Hubei, Wuhan, COVID 19
China's National Health Commission said it received reports of 2,015 new confirmed cases and 97 deaths from 31 regions on Tuesday. File photo: PTI

In view of the current situation over the coronavirus epidemic, India on Tuesday (February 4) cancelled the existing visas for Chinese and foreign nationals who have come to the country in the past two weeks. Two days earlier, India temporarily suspended e-visa facility for Chinese travellers and foreigners residing in China.

The move comes after the death toll in China mounted sharply to 425 with 64 deaths reported on Monday. The number of those infected with the virus has also soared to 20,438 in China, health authorities in the neighbouring country said on Tuesday.

“All those who are already in India (with regular or e-visa) and had travelled from China after January 15 are requested to contact the hotline number of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Government of India (+91-11-23978046 and email: ncov2019@gmail.com,” the announcement by the Indian Embassy in Beijing said.

About the validity of the visas, it said the “Embassy of India and our Consulates have been receiving several queries from Chinese citizens as well as other foreign nationals, who are based out of China or visited China in the last two weeks, as to whether they can use their valid single/multiple entry visas to travel to India.”

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“It is clarified that existing visas are no longer valid. Intending visitors to India should contact the Indian Embassy in Beijing (visa.beijing@mea.gov.in) or the Consulates in Shanghai (Ccons.shanghai@mea.gov.in) and Guangzhou (Visa.guangzhou@mea.gov.in) to apply afresh for an Indian visa. Indian Visa Application Centres (www.blsindia-china.com) in these cities may also be contacted in this regard,” it said.

The Visa Section of the Embassy/Consulates of India in China can be contacted to ascertain the validity of visa before undertaking any visit to India, it said.

The deadly virus has spread to more than 25 countries, including India. India has reported three cases of the coronavirus. All the three patients from Kerala recently returned from the affected Wuhan city. Currently, 647 Indians and seven Maldivians who have been evacuated from Hubei are in 14-day quarantine at a medical camp in Manesar, near Delhi.

(With inputs from agencies)

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