276 Indians abroad infected by Covid-19: Govt

New Delhi: The government on Wednesday admitted that 276 Indians have been infected by coronavirus abroad, with most of them in Iran where over 17,000 people have tested positive and above 1,100 died due to the pandemic.

The Ministry of External Affairs in response to a question in the Lok Sabha revealed that 255 Indians in Iran, 12 in United Arab Emirates, five in Italy and one each in Hong Kong, Kuwait, Rwanda and Sri Lanka have tested positive for COVID-19, which originated in Wuhan city of China.

The government provided 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment to China on February 26. The aid included one lakh surgical masks, five lakh pairs of surgical gloves, 75 infusion pumps, 30 enteral feeding pumps, 21 defibrillator 21 and 4000 N-95 masks.

Since March 13, the government has suspended all existing visas, except those related to diplomatic, official, UN and international organizations, employment and projects till April 15. Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is also suspended. OCI card holders already in India have been allowed to stay in India as long as they want. Visas of all foreigners already in India remain valid and can apply for an extension or conversion.

In addition to visa restrictions, passengers traveling from or visited Italy or Republic of Korea, are required to provide a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19 from the designated laboratories authorized by the health authorities of the two countries. The requirement has been in place since March 10, 2020 and will be lifted after cases of COVID-19 subside.

All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15, are required to be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This has come into effect from March 13 at the port of departure.

All international passengers entering into India are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form in duplicate including personal particulars i.e. phone number and address in India and undergo universal health screening at the designated health counters at all points of entry.

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