‘No central govt minister will travel abroad’: PM Modi on coronavirus outbreak
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that no central government minister will travel abroad in the coming days, as the government pulled out all stops to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
“Say No to Panic, Say Yes to Precautions. No Minister of the Central Government will travel abroad in the upcoming days. I urge our countrymen to also avoid non-essential travel. We can break the chain of spread and ensure safety of all by avoiding large gatherings,” PM Modi tweeted on Thursday.
This comes after the government issued fresh advisory for Indian nationals and asked them to avoid all non-essential travels.
“The Government is fully vigilant about the situation due to COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Across ministries & states, multiple steps have been proactively taken to ensure safety of all. These steps are wide-ranging, from suspension of Visas to augmenting healthcare capacities,” PM Modi said in another tweet.
Watch | Coronavirus scare in India: Government suspends all visas as cases mount
The government virtually shut the country off to foreign tourists as it announced suspension of almost all visas for entering India till April 15. The decision, announced on Wednesday, was part of extraordinary new measures taken by the government to stave off the coronavirus disease Covid-19 pandemic, including invoking laws that give the federal administration powers over states to manage containment efforts.
The government has also issued a wide advisory for anyone planning to enter the country - even Indian citizens abroad - to defer travel unless necessary and warned that they may be subjected to mandatory quarantines.
“India had to take a tough decision to discourage non-essential travel to stop the Covid-19 cases from being imported into the country. It may inconvenience travellers and I’m sorry for that, but the health of India’s 135 crore citizens comes first. Intensified screening, quarantine and isolation can still stop the spread of Sars-Cov-2 in the country,” Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan told HT shortly after the announcement.
The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases across India, including foreign nationals, has gone up to 73. Out of these 73 people, 56 are Indian citizens. With 17 coronavirus positive cases, the maximum number of cases in the country has been reported from Kerala.
Maharashtra reported 11 cases while in Uttar Pradesh there were 10 positive cases including a foreigner, according to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.