India has prohibited the entry of Indian passport holders in European Union, Turkey, and United Kingdom to India from today. The latest travel advisory read, “With effect from the 18 March, travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the United Kingdom to India is prohibited with effect.”
Cabinet Secretary took a review meeting of concerned officials from various Ministries/Departments,. During the meeting, he emphasized on the implementation of Social Distancing measures as detailed by guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. He stated that social distancing would have a major impact in limiting the spread of the disease. He also reviewed preparedness of various states for quarantine facilities, hospital management and awareness campaigns.
In order to ensure effective and seamless coordination between the Centre and the States, 30 nodal officers of the level of Joint Secretary and above have been drawn from various Ministries to liaison, coordinate and help the States with respect to anything that is required from the Government of India. They will be deputed to the States, and shall work in close coordination with the State authorities for coordinating the preparedness and response measures. An orientation meeting of all the officers is being held tomorrow.
Secretary (HFW) has also written to the Secretaries of all Ministries/Departments, Govt. of India today requesting them to implement the various guidelines/advisories that have been issued and are applicable to them and the organizations under them.
In continuation of the travel advisory issued on 11th March, 2020 and 16th March, 2020, the following additional advisory is issued today:
i. Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. No flight shall take off from these countries to India after 1500 hours Indian Standard Time (IST). The airline shall enforce this at the port of initial departure.
ii. This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently.
BJP MP Suresh Prabhu has kept himself under isolation at his residence for the next 14 days as a precautionary measure even after testing negative. He returned from Saudi Arabia, where he had gone to attend the Second Sherpas’ Meeting on 10 March.
On Tuesday, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan went into self-quarantine, but was later tested negative.