Four more people quarantined in Maharashtra over coronavirus suspicion; With suspension of evisa, Chinese expats unable to return to India

Four more people quarantined in Maharashtra over coronavirus suspicion; With suspension of evisa, Chinese expats unable to return to India

Written By: / Thursday, 06 February 2020 18:08

IT News

Mumbai Feb.6

Four more people were quarantined over Novel coronavirus suspicion on Wednesday in Maharashtra, even as the state government set up a new testing facility to test samples at the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College & Hospital (IGGMCH)Four  patients include a 29-year-old resident of Sanpada, Navi Mumbai (who was admitted to the Kasturba Hospital, Mumbai),  (a 22 year old girl student pursuing MBBS course in China and two men ( who were admitted to the IGGMCH).  One of the men had returned from Thailand.

The patient from Sampada, Navi Mumbai, who works in the shipping industry, had travelled to China on January 22 and returned to Mumbai on February 3. He did not have a cough, cold or any other symptoms. But he knew about the coronavirus and wanted to get himself tested. So he went and got hospitalised,” a friend of the quarantined man said and added that basically he is a Chennai native living  with his friend in Sanpada and often sails for months at a stretch.

While additional facility was created in Nagpur, to reduce the load on National Institute of Virology, Pune, BMC is mulling over the proposal to set up similar facility at Kasturba Hospital in Mumbai. A state officials said none of the 21 samples tested so far has been positive for the virus.

After the Government of India suspended e-visas issued since January 15 to Chinese nationals and foreigners who reside in China on 2 February, many Chinese national, who had gone to China, before coronavirus created a havoc, are now unable to return to India due to uncertainty. India on Tuesday further tightened visa rules by cancelling the existing visas for Chinese and foreigners who had visited the country in the last two weeks.  An e-visa is issued for 90 days.

Shikha Pandey, a Chinese language teacher in Mumbai University, said that many of her Chinese friends had left for China days before the Chinese New Year. The travel advisories then were not stringent. But now they are unable to return. There are estimated 400 ethnic Chinese families and 3,500 Chinese residing in Mumbai Zhang Xuemeng (27) who had travelled to Beijing from Mumbai on January 20 with her family in Hebei had to cancel her return flight scheduled on February 8. It was not clear,  whether the Indian government would allowing them entry. The companies where they work in Mumbai have asked them to postpone their travel, her relatives in Mumbai told IT. Xuemeng, who holds an employment visa, had worked in a private Chinese company in Mumbai for three years before resigning. She was planning to take up another job on her return.

Jie Chu (30), a Chinese national at present in Mumbai, said her e-visa will expire next month and she was not certain whether it will be renewed, She doesn’t  want to return to China in these circumstances. Her family lives in Hunan.

Several airlines, including IndiGo and Air India have suspended flights to China and Hongkong. The AI’s  flights to Shanghai remain suspended till February 14. IndiGo has suspended two of its flights to China. Cathay Pacific has suspended some flights to mainland China but is operating to Hong Kong. “Rwandair” has suspended flights from its capital Kigali to Guangzhou. Air China too suspended its operations to China from Wednesday on wards.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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