New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) India’s response to the COVID-19 has been pre-emptive, pro-active. India had already put in place a comprehensive response system at its borders much before WHO declared it as a public health emergency of international concern on January 30.
Timeline of the decisions taken by the Indian government so far:
· January 17: Advisory issued to avoid travel to China
· January 18: Thermal screening started of passengers from China and Hong Kong.
· January 30: Strong advisory issued to avoid travel to China.
· February 3: E-visa facility suspended for Chinese citizens.
· February 22: Advisory issued to avoid travel to Singapore; Universal screening for flights from Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia.
· February 26: Advisory issued to avoid travel to Iran, Italy and Republic of Korea. Passengers coming from these countries to be screened, and may be quarantined based on screening and risk assessment.
· March 3: Suspension of all visas for Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan and China; Compulsory health screening for passengers arriving directly or indirectly from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, Singapore and Taiwan.
· March 4: Universal screening of all International Flights. Quarantine or isolation at home or sent to hospital based on screening and risk profile
· March 5: Passengers from Italy or Republic of Korea need to get medical certificate before entry
· March 10, Home isolation: incoming international passengers should self-monitor health and follow government Dos and Don’ts: passengers with travel history to China, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Iran, Malaysia, France, Spain and Germany to undergo home quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date of their arrival
· March 11: Compulsory Quarantine- Incoming travellers (including Indians) arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days.
· 16, 17, 19 March- Comprehensive advisory:
. March 16: Expanded compulsory quarantine for travellers from or through UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait for a minimum of 14 days.
Travel of passengers from member countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and United Kingdom to India totally prohibited
. March 17: Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia prohibited
. March 19: All Incoming international flights suspended, with effect from 22nd March
. March 25: Extension of suspension of all incoming International Flights to India extended till April 14.