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India Border and Lockdown Status – the Latest International News

India Coronavirus News

Like most countries around the world, the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has struck India hard. The first case was reported on January 30, 2020 and it was confirmed that it originated from China. The spread of the virus through asymptomatic cases has still to reach its peak months later. As of May 4, 2020, over 42,000 cases have been reported, taking the lives of over 11,000 people.

In order to curb the spread of the virus, the Indian government introduced numerous restrictions. Incoming passenger traffic is suspended just like international flights. The India border is closed at the moment, with only cargo flights with essential goods permitted entry. The restrictions will be in effect until at least May 17, 2020, and Prime Minister Narendra Mori is hoping that the situation will improve.

Latest news reports say that India has reported 2,500 new cases of COVID-19 with Delhi hit the hardest. On Sunday, May 3, Delhi had 427 new cases for the novel coronavirus adding to the tally. Over 70 deaths have also been recorded, indicating that the infection has yet to reach its peak. The airport in Delhi, Indira Gandhi International airport is closed. That’s normally the busiest in India is now added to the list of airports closed for domestic and international flights. 

The state of Maharashtra has the highest numbers at 12,000 and rising. Tamil Nadu and Punjab aren’t faring any better with over 3,000 and 1,000 respectively. The country has entered a state of lockdown starting today which will be into effect until at least May 17. 

A lockdown was necessary since the latest news from around India have been reporting an alarming rate of new cases. Mass testing is carried out, but asymptomatic cases are expected to continue climbing. International news from across the globe are indicating that the infection is on the decline, but sadly, India and Africa seem to be the new global hot-spots for the COVID-19 virus. Time will tell before the India border is open again and you can find the latest status regarding borders on 

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus COVID-19 is a new virus that was first identified in the city of Wuhan, China, just before the New Year. Since December 2019, it has slowly started spreading around the world. Although China managed to control the infection in a few months, it has spread to Europe and later other parts of the world.

The virus is spread through people during close contact. It attacks the respiratory system after entering the host’s body through small droplets via sneezing or coughing. The incubation period has a median time of 1-14 days, with most cases reporting symptoms in around 5 days.

One of the biggest concerns about the COVID-19 virus are asymptomatic cases. Although it can cause severe respiratory problems in people with pre-existing conditions, latest scientific international news say that the infection spreads fast through asymptomatic cases. There’s no way to tell how many people have been affected and are not showing symptoms. Countries around the world are trying to identify the number through mass testing, but as things stand now, we may never learn the right number.

No Vaccine Yet

Another major concern is that there’s no vaccine developed yet. There are many still in the developmental phase, but it could be awhile before we have a functional COVID-19 vaccine. Latest international news say that it could be a few years before the vaccine is developed and approved. With the symptoms of the virus almost identical to the flu, we could be seeing thousands of new cases during upcoming flu seasons.

The spread of the virus has put our social lives at hold. Over 3.5 million cases have been reported globally with nearly 250,000 deaths. Countries have been put on lockdown and the global economy is suffering because of the virus. Although the spread may stop soon with the latest positive news from countries around the world, one inevitable question remains – will we ever defeat it?

India Border Status

Like most countries in the world, India has closed its borders officially since mid-March. This was done in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The lockdown was imposed on the whole country on March 24 on just 5-hour notice. Initially, it was expected to last until May 3, 2020. However, the government extended it until May 17 while relaxing measures in the regions where the infection hasn’t been spreading so fast.

News outlets from Delhi have been warning that the country can’t sustain the lockdown. The economy is fragile and this could kill it. However, the borders in India remain closed both to international passengers and domestic flights.

The latest lockdown has put India in the 3rd phase with “considerable relaxations” in some regions. Containment areas will continue to be locked down until the infection rate starts to decline. It will be a tough challenge.

Red, Orange, and Green Zones

At the moment, India has been divided into 3 zones – Red, Orange, and Green. Classifications have been made on reported active COVID-19 cases as well as the rate of new cases and level of testing.

  • Red Zones – New Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai have been identified as red zones. Most of the curbs will remain in these cities until at least May 17. Some private offices can open up during the lockdown, but only at 33% capacity. These must also be in areas not marked as contamination zones.
  • Orange Zones – these include areas where the measures are a bit more relaxed. Taxis, for example, are allowed just like travel between districts. However, travel is restricted to permitted activities only.
  • Green Zones – all areas designated green zones have not had a COVID-19 case reported in the past 21 days. News from these zones indicate that all activities are allowed with the exception of those prohibited all throughout India.

International Arrivals

The Indian government has suspended all international flights until the end of the lockdown. Travel by air remains banned in and out of the country and the latest news say that relaxation of the measures isn’t expected until May 17 at the very least.

International travelers will be denied entry into India. This includes Indian nationals. Only travelers with diplomatic visas and international/UN organizations are exempt from this measure.

Free visa procedures for foreign nationals staying in India will likely be extended. Those who want such an extension should contact their local authorities.

Domestic Flights

The latest news reports from India seem to indicate that the Delhi International airport will resume domestic flight operations after the end of the lockdown. The final guidelines, however, are yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Even when the flights resume on an international and domestic level, things won’t be the same as before.

Per latest news, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is creating a plan to restart all travel. There will surely be measures in place like most international airports have introduced around the world. Air, land, and sea travel will not be the same. People would likely be expected to wear masks and gloves, with check-ins moved a few hours earlier.

Everyone’s afraid of a second outbreak and if governments aren’t careful about it, it will surely happen. The good news is that domestic travel will probably be reopened soon. As soon as international flights return to the schedule, India’s economy can restart and push through these hard times.

How Are India’s Neighboring Countries Affected?

Latest news from China regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus has been positive. The country has obviously put the infection under control with only a few new cases per day, most of them from international passengers. News from Pakistan and Bangladesh, however, hasn’t been that great.

Pakistan Border Status

As the Government of Pakistan recently announced, the spread of the virus is beyond the country’s control. To curb it, Pakistan has suspended all international flight operators until at least May 25, 2020.

Pakistan has confirmed over 20,000 cases so far with over 14,000 of them active right now. There have been nearly 500 fatalities and the country is having problems flattening the curve. Domestic flight operations have also been suspended with the aggravated inland situation.

Pakistani residents returning from high-risk COVID-19 countries will be subject to extensive medical screenings. They must also fill out a health form upon entry and agree to 14-day quarantine. The measures will stay in place until at least May 25.

May 2 was the second-worst COVID-19 infection day in Pakistan with 1,619 new cases. The country had the highest rate of cases, 2,006, on April 10. The following period had ups and downs, but the situation in Pakistan is not good with an alarming rate of new cases every day.

Bangladesh Border Status

Like most of its neighbors, Bangladesh is a border closed country as well. COVID-19 infections were pretty low until the end of March when the country introduced a lockdown. April saw a steep rise in cases that led to extending the lockdown until at least May 5, 2020.

The total number of cases in Bangladesh is over 10,000 and climbing. In order to stop the infection, the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh suspended all domestic and international flights until May 7. Foreign national passengers may enter the country, but they must present a valid medical certificate obtained within 72 hours of travel.

The certificate must show that they have no COVID-19 symptoms in order to be permitted entry into Bangladesh. If a person trying to enter Bangladesh doesn’t have a valid medical certificate, they will be taken to a quarantine facility in Dhaka upon arrival where they will stay for 14 days.

Bhutan Border Status

Bhutan has fared better than any of India’s neighbors with only 7 reported cases. The country has introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All 7 cases were international travelers that visited high-risk COVID-19 countries and all but 3 have since recovered.

Even though the number of reported infections have been low, the country has taken strict measures to stop the spread. Schools have been closed and Bhutan Airlines have suspended all flights, domestic and international. 

All travelers permitted entry into the country including Bhutanese nationals are subject to mandatory 21-day quarantine. International passengers who have been in high-risk countries in the past 14 days are requested to report for medical examination at the airport of entry.

Re-entry of foreign passengers with valid visas and work permits has been suspended until further notice.

China Border Status

The COVID-19 virus originated from China, more specifically from the city of Wuhan. Before the coronavirus spread to Europe, grim news arrived from China every day. Before Italy, Spain, and the USA were hit hard by the virus, China was fighting it with strict measures on all travel in and out of the country.

With over 82,000 cases confirmed and international and domestic flights suspended for the bigger part of 2 months, China managed to put the virus under control. Strict lockdown measures were in effect, especially in cities such as Wuhan. Some of those are still in effect in some regions such as Harbin and Suifenhe due to increased local transmission. Some airports are open, but international travelers shouldn’t travel to China yet.

The government is continuously relaxing the strict measures, but curbs are still in place in some regions. All international travelers arriving in the motherland are subject to a PCR test and will be quarantined for 14 days. As of April 28, 2020, international flights to Beijing are redirected to one of 12 cities.

In some cities such as Shanghai, there’s no quarantine requirement if the patient can present a green health form (negative for the COVID-19 virus). Positive news from China is coming in by the day, but the country is still treading with caution when it comes to international travelers. 

Sri Lanka Border Status

All international airports have been closed in Sri Lanka until further notice. The country has over 700 positive COVID-19 cases which led to the suspension of all flights by national carrier SriLanka Airlines until at least May 15, 2020.

The country’s border status remains closed. All types of Electronic Travel Authorizations have been suspended until further notice.

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