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India suspends visas granted to foreigners till May 3

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Government of India has suspended all existing visas granted to foreigners and all incoming passenger traffic into India through Immigration Check Posts (ICPs) till May 3.

The rules will be applied to all except certain categories, an order issued by the foreigners’ division of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

The ministry decided to extend the suspension of all existing visas granted to foreigners, except to those belonging to diplomatic, official, UN or international organisations, and employment and project categories, till May 3 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The ministry further directed that all incoming passenger traffic into India through any of the 107 ICPs shall remain suspended till May 3, which is the last date of the second phase of countrywide lockdown imposed to break the chain of transmission of Covid-19.

Similar restrictions were earlier issued by the Home Ministry when the first 21-day lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the midnight March 24.

Modi extended the lockdown for another 19 days on Tuesday as the pandemic is still growing in India, claiming 452 lives and the number of active cases going beyond the 11,500-mark.

However, no such restriction would apply on vehicles, planes, ships and trains carrying any goods and supplies, whether essential or non-essential, the government order said.

“Their crew, sailor, driver, helper and cleaner shall also be subjected to thorough medical screening for Covid-19,” it said.

–IANS

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