New Delhi: At a time when the death toll due to the deadly coronavirus has gone up to 564 in China, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Thursday that the MEA has successfully evacuated all 640 Indian national from Wuhan – the epicentre of the deadly disease.
“We’ve successfully carried out the evacuation of 640 Indian nationals and seven Maldives nationals on two flights. It was a complex operation and we do appreciate the support and facilitation extended by Government of China during this exercise,” Raveesh Kumar said.
Talking about the visa restrictions for the Chinese nationals, Kumar stated that the existing e-visas from China are no longer valid.
“All existing e-visas from China are no longer valid. Similarly, normal visas that have been issued are also no more valid. Those who have compelling reasons to visit India, they can contact our Embassy or the nearest consulates to apply for a visa,” Kumar stated.
However, he made it clear that the visa restrictions are applicable only to the Chinese mainland in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Raveesh Kumar further added that the e-visa will be available for certain categories of visits to India. “Diplomats don’t fall in that category. A diplomat visa is applied at the Embassy. So, it may not impact the diplomatic process,” he added.
He further said that there is no update on restrictions imposed by the Government of India on the operation of commercial flights between India and China.
“I am not aware of any restriction imposed by the Govt of India on the operation of any commercial flight between India and China. Airlines are free to make the decision based on their own assessment on ground,” he added.
With the death toll crossing over 500 in China after the coronavirus outbreak, immigration officials in India have suspended all visas issued before February 5 to all Chinese passport holders from any part of the world, apart from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Prior to this, the Ministry of Health (MoH) had on Wednesday issued a fresh travel advisory and said extending visas, including already issued eVisa, are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China.