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Germany, France, US have hundreds of coronavirus cases, but India isn’t restricting travel

India suspended visa of nationals from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Japan, but mandatory screening of all passengers only began Friday.

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New Delhi: Earlier this week, the Indian Bureau of Immigration announced the suspension of visas of nationals from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, and Japan — countries with the highest number of coronavirus cases. But there are no travel restrictions for a whole set of other countries, some of whom have hundreds of confirmed cases of the lethal virus.

Germany and France, for example, have had 545 and 423 confirmed cases respectively, but no restrictions have been imposed on travel to and from them. The two European countries account for 2.7 lakh and 2.6 lakh tourists to India respectively, according to 2018 data from the Union Ministry of Tourism.

Other countries like Spain, the USA, Switzerland and the UK also seem to be on the cusp of a coronavirus epidemic, but India did not make it mandatory to screen travellers from these countries at the port of entry until Friday, when all passengers began to be screened.

ThePrint has reviewed country-wise data for the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and the annual inflow of tourists from each of them in 2018.

For the purpose of this article, the coronavirus cases data used is accurate up to 4 pm Indian Standard Time on 6 March 2020.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare did not reply to ThePrint’s email and text messages asking for comment. This report will be updated when it responds.

Also read: The search for new drugs for coronavirus faces long odds

Over 100 confirmed coronavirus cases

Apart from Germany and France, the four countries mentioned above all have 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus — Spain, the US, Switzerland and the UK.

Spain has 282 confirmed cases, and sent 84,356 tourists to India in 2018.

The US has 233 coronavirus cases, and accounted for the second highest number of foreign tourists to India in 2018 — 14.5 lakh.

Switzerland has 119 confirmed cases and accounted for 49,322 tourists to India, while the United Kingdom has 116 cases and makes up the third largest source of foreign tourists in India — 10.2 lakh.

Also read: Indian exports could take a hit as world food prices dip in February due to coronavirus

Under 100 cases

Countries with under 100 confirmed cases of coronavirus also account for thousands of tourists to India every year, according to the 2018 data.

Sweden and Norway have 94 and 91 confirmed cases, and sent 46,743 and 22,631 tourists to India in 2018 respectively. The Netherlands has 82 cases and accounted for 81,615 annual tourists to India.

Australia has 60 confirmed cases and sent 3.4 lakh tourists to India in 2018.

50 cases and below

South-East Asian countries Malaysia and Thailand have 50 and 48 coronavirus cases respectively and accounted for 3.1 lakh and 1.6 lakh tourists, while the corresponding numbers for Taiwan are 44 and 49,457.

It must be noted that the Indian government has mandated that passengers arriving from South-east Asian countries need to undergo screening at the port of entry.

Other countries with confirmed cases between 40 and 50 include Belgium, Canada and Austria. From these three countries, 44,086, 3.5 lakh, and 33,200 tourists visited India in 2018.

Also read: From Formula One to Olympics, coronavirus threatens to stop major events in Asia

(This report has been updated to reflect that mandatory screening of passengers at Indian airports began Friday.)

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  1. Government should have to stop the entry of foreigners and screened everybody to reduce the risk of COVID 19. Airport authorities should put screening system in every domestic and international airport.

  2. Government should have to stop the entry of foreigners and screened everybody to reduce the risk of COVID 19

  3. Travellers from all impacted countries, should be screened and there should be no discrimination here in pursuit of greater good…..if not banned….

  4. If same Screening machine is used for every passenger, then there is highly chances of getting infected through the screening also.

  5. The print is more dangerous than the COVD-19, the govt.has not also ban yet. Impatient idiots.

  6. Inspite of our limitations due to various factors, we have quite remarkably medical facilities. In towns and cities for every hundred meters we have medical shops and dispensaries. They are doing great service which we don’t notice or ignore. They take care normal illness and make us not to drop at super speciality hospital’s. Apart from Allopathy, other streem of medicine such as Homeopathy, Ayurveda and traditional medcinal system will also take care. In so called developed countries, the availability of only super speciality hospital is big problem. Off course they take care, but the cost of the small treatment also of enormous proportion. This is similar to non existance of small shops for huge shopping malls. I genuinely feel that non centric medical system will provide great relief for patients which fortunately we have, but slowly changing!

  7. People should change.
    They chew tobacco and spit in street.
    Tea shops they wash shop by 10pm and pour the waste water in street.
    They simply wipe mucus and place in bus train.

  8. I think media is right. We should stop going to these countries too and stop tourist and other people from these countries unless and until there is any medicine discovered

  9. I am really as angry and frustrated with these type of disgusting journalism,as with the dirty politics played by most of the political class.
    These people have made ordinary people’s life miserable.They are certainly more dangerous than corona virus itself.Oh God please give all of us good immunity ,so that we will not be infected by this type of journalism.

  10. Y india is not restricting travel from Germany, France & US. With serious concerns Have a look towards it. Pls indian government be serious already the country count has reached 34 how come with so much screening and other things it is spreading…

  11. My friend came 4 days back from saudi Arabia, but he was also left without screening by the authorities.
    And he told me people from highly affected countries like china italy etc were screened only but now they have started screening everyone.

  12. Not only airports many monuments and hotels doing screening of all tourists entering. Media please don’t be so virus

    • Because symptom saw after 1 week or 14 days to pts have carrier to the covid 19 but no symptoms while screen…

  13. I arrived from SFO just yesterday and 100% of the arrivals were being screened very rigorously, regardless of country or nationality (Indian or foreign).

    Please update this article to reflect the accurate information. Thanks.

  14. I guess the government is trying to save cost of screening every traveller. Last week when one of my colleague came from Toulouse via Germany the screening team at the immigration in Delhi told him to go without screening but my colleague insisted and got the screening done. 2 things, the government is ignorant towards such an outbreak and so are most of the indians, 2nd people also don’t maintain basic hygiene and cleanliness. As on Wednesday there were confirmed 30 cases in india now they have gone to 34 today. Don’t blame the media unnecessarily. Not all are the same.

  15. Universal screening has been in place since 5th March 2020.
    The print really needs to stay current with the events. My own father was screened while returning from Bangladesh and he said each and every arrival was being screened.

  16. India can open invitation to foreigners
    For providing hospital health treatment in India with world class facility. 16-18 Italians are being successfully undergoing treatment for Coronovirus in Indian hospital is an indication. Our climate combats coronovirus

  17. The outbreak of Coronavirus will surely affect the economy of the countries like ot has drop down the china’s economy.
    However no major growth in this virus will be reported after 10 -15 days as due to rise in temp.
    My question is will it affect the automotive market ?


  18. I have mostly seen article of are biased. What this media want to broken this tourism industry. Do you ever imagine, how much importance of this tourism in these era. Country like france earns 10% money of their total country gdp only by tourist of other countries. And this media wants to ruin it by blocking lacks of tourist from europe only becuase of few hundred cases.
    And govt already declared to screen each passengers of every country. What more you want f*** media.

    I think this media is not well wisher of it’s own country.

  19. This writer think Indian govt is stupid even if you use common sense everyone will be screened at the airport

  20. Bhale hum log infected ho ya mar jaye, pr paisa aana nhi rukna chahiye. Because humko laat khake hi akal aati hai.

  21. India introduced mandatory screening for ALL international passengers 3 DAYS AGO.

    Please don’t unnecessarily spread panic

  22. Check your facts . Everyone arriving irrespective to his/her nationality including Indians get screened on arrival at all International airports.

  23. Can anyone tell me do we have any travel restrictions from France or Italy or Switzerland..I have already done hotel and train booking across these countries, now due to this virus ,I am trying to cancel the booking but hotel owners and train operator are denying for full refund..can anyone guide me how to deal with it

    • Agreed you wont be able to refund for trains services.
      But if you could personally call hotels and request them for reason for cancellation.
      I many scenario hotels provide refunds.

  24. So many miserable people here with lack of proper intelligence.
    I dont understand the logic behind abusing this article.

    Many so called bhakths think speaking against corona virus is being anti national.

  25. The Article is intended to grab eye balls. No logic, no reasoning. But I guess.. we get the type of journalists we deserve !

  26. These people needs trp and want to intice fear in whichever way they can. I beleive a mask for protection from media/online news medium should be there. It will top the list of ‘most sold product of the century’.

  27. Kya pagalpan hai media ka..100 cases in a country of millions and billions and media is just raking it up like world is dying..
    Seb bika hua hai market operators..and one day Corona will become a normal disease a part of our life when they want to.

    That is when millions would have been financially killed by these rumour mongers

    • I am of the opinion that this type of journalism is more dangerous than the corona virus itself

      • What this article has said is quite true. If this wasn’t the case , then those 16 Italian tourist would have gone straight to quarantine from the airport as would those 2 American tourist who travelled in North East with the virus.

    • Do you want Indian cities under lockdown??. If adequate precautions are not taken it would go beyond the governments ability to control the virus and cities would be placed under lockdown. You seem to be an ignorant fellow.

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