INDIA HAS CLOSED its airports to the world. The ban on all international travel to the country will continue until April 14, according to the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C.
The embassy issued the advisory on Thursday, one day after Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ordered a 21-day shutdown of the country to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Indian nationals are advised to remain inside their residences and follow advisories on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.
Indians also are advised to follow social distancing norms and avoid any non-essential local travel. They should go to their local health department if they or their families develop symptoms. Those needing an extension on their visas can apply online.
India has reported 469 active cases of COVID-19 and 10 deaths, according to the Associated Press.
“All of you are also witnessing how the most advanced countries of the world have been rendered absolutely helpless by this pandemic,” Modi said in a televised address announcing the country’s 21-day shutdown. “It is not that these countries are not putting in adequate efforts or they lack resources,” the prime minister said. “The coronavirus is spreading at such a rapid pace that despite all the preparations and efforts, these countries are finding it hard to manage the crisis.”