New Delhi: India on Sunday temporarily suspended the issue of e-visas to Chinese or foreign nationals residing China to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country.
“Due to certain current developments, travel to India on e-visas stands te-mporarily suspended with immediate effect. This applies to holders of Chin-ese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the People’s Republic of China. Holders of already issued e-visas may note that these are no longer valid,” said the Indian Embassy in Beijing tweeted.
Only “those who have a compelling reason to visit India may contact the Indian embassy in Beijing or Indian consulates in Shanghai or Guangzhou, and the Indian Visa Application Centres in these cities,” the Indian Embassy said.
It is understood that by suspending travel on e-visas from China, the Indian government will now have the discretion on deciding whom to grant visas to, as there will be a manual interface now at an Indian diplomatic mission. In the case of e-visas granted online, such discr-etion would not have been possible, observers said.
The Indian government, meanwhile, has issued a new travel advisory asking people to refrain from travelling to China in view of coronavirus outbreak and said travellers on return from the neighbouring country could be quarantined. In its advisory, the Union health ministry also said anyone with travel history of China since January 15 could be quarantined.
The decision of issuing a new travel advisory was taken at a high-level revi-ew meeting held by the Cabinet Secretary on the preparedness to deal with coronavirus....