India on Friday announced the temporary suspension of visa on arrival facility for nationals of Japan and South Korea in wake of the recent Coronavirus outbreak. The announcement was made by the Bureau of Immigration on its official website. "In view of the recent outbreak of CoronaVirus, Visa on Arrival facility has been temporarily suspended for the nationals of Japan and South Korea," the notification on the website read.
The decision has been taken keeping in view the rising cases of the virus in South Korea and Japan. In fact, South Korea has the biggest outbreak outside mainland China. The country has reported 256 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number to 2,022. The outbreak is rapidly rising in Japan and the country's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in a shock move, announced that all the schools across the country will be closed from Monday.
So far, Japan has confirmed 210 cases of novel coronavirus on its territory, including four deaths. There have also been over 700 cases and another four deaths from the luxury cruise ship Diamond Princess, which spent two weeks in quarantine after finally being allowed to dock in Yokohama.
Although Japan has not faced an outbreak as fast as in neighbouring South Korea, the rising cases have raised questions over the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. While the games will start in July, the torch relay event is scheduled to begin next month and now there are demands that the Olympics should be cancelled.
India keeps coronavirus outbreak in check
Meanwhile, health authorities Friday said the death toll due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has increased to 2,788, while confirmed cases have risen to 78,824. Globally, the virus has killed over 2800 people with more than 83,000 cases.
As far as India is concerned, there have been three positive cases in Kerala so far. Being a neighbour of China, India was on high risk of an outbreak but the country has done well to contain the outbreak on its territory. Of the three cases in Kerala, two have been discharged with the third one expected to recover soon. Sixteen Indians onboard the Japanese cruise ship have been tested positive but they are receiving treatment in Japan.
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were on board the ship. Of them, 119 have been evacuated and brought back to New Delhi where they will spend 14 days in quarantine facilities. Earlier, India had evacuated over 600 of its citizens from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak in China.