11 Nations Including Italy, France Request India For Evacuation Of Their Nationals

Started in the city of Wuhan, China, Europe has now become the hotspot for the coronavirus epidemic with Italy and Spain reporting the maximum number of deaths.

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Indian PM recently announced a complete lockdown for 21 days putting a population of 1.3 billion confined to their homes. Before this announcement, 11 nations which included Israel, Malaysia, Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, Belgium, Peru and Afghanistan have requested New Delhi to evacuate their citizens from India by running special flights.

Afghanistan plans to evacuate over 2,500 Afghan citizens stranded in India. India gets a massive influx of Afghan citizens every year just like Nepal and Bangladesh. Earlier, the Modi-Government had announced to extend the visa period of all foreign nationals, who are unable to leave the country due to travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, till April 15.

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According to ET – “Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of all foreign nationals which have expired or would be expiring during the period from March 13 (midnight) to April 15 (midnight) would be extended till midnight of April 14 on ‘Gratis’ basis after making online application by the foreigner,” the home ministry had said in a notification. “Exit of such foreign nationals, if so requested by them during this period, will be granted without levy of overstay penalty,” it said.

Meanwhile, India imposed a 21-day lockdown fearing the outbreak of the pandemic.

“The entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown,” PM Modi said on Tuesday. He added: “To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family… every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown.”

PM Modi warned that if India does not “handle these 21 days well, then our country will go backwards by 21 years”. “This is a curfew,” he said. “We will have to pay the economic cost of this but it is the duty of everyone.”

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Under the new directives, all non-essential businesses will be closed but hospitals and other medical facilities will continue to function as normal. Schools and universities will remain shut and almost all public gatherings will be forbidden.