WHO declares COVID19 as a global Pandemic

India suspends tourist Visas till April 15

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Bhubaneswar: With 4373 deaths and more than 118,000 positive cases across 109 countries, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday declared the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)  global pandemic.

In a statement, WHO Director General has said that this is the first pandemic caused by Coronavirus.

“In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.   There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.  Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals. In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the organization’s headquarters in Geneva.

He said that WHO is continuously assessing the outbreak and is deeply concerned at the alarming pace it is spreading across the globe.

“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death” he added.

The WHO director general has called on every individual to join the fight against COVID-19 as it is not just a public health crisis, it’ll touch every sector.



Meanwhile, in view of the outbreak, the government of India has suspended tourist Visa till April 15. The government has also advised Indian nationals to avoid no-essential travel abroad. The decision was taken after an inter-ministerial meeting convened by union health minister Dr. Harshvardhan.

“All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure. However, any foreign national who intends to travel to India for compelling reason may contact the nearest Indian Mission” twitted the ministry of health.

Meanwhile, visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.

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