Coronavirus in India: Minister of External Affairs (MEA) S Jaishankar in Lok Sabha raised the noval coronavirus issue on Thursday, March 12, stating it a matter of concern as the number of infected cases has shoot up to 73.

In Lok Sabha, Minister said exceptional situations require exceptional responses. He also informed the house that traveling abroad would only heightens risks of getting infected, hence the government advises people not to travel out of the country.

A day ago, authorities suspended all existing visas till April 15 except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas. The government made the announcement after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared coronavirus a pandemic.

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Till now, more than 1,00,000 people have been infected by the Coronavirus and it has claimed over 4,500 lives globally.

Foreign Minister also reported about 6,000 Indians stranded in Iran. He said Indian includin pilgrims and students from Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir are stranded in Iran and government is making every possible effort to evacuate them at the earliest. The initial focus is on bringing back pilgrims, mostly stranded in Qom, said Foreign Minister.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last week’s message to avoid mass gatherings to curb spreading, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged Mermbers of Parliament and people of the country through the chair to co-operate in fight against Coronavirus. The Centre has also invoked Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act and asked all state to invoke Section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act and cooperate I setting up check points and hospitals for treatment.

In the wake of infection, the Delhi government also directed all schools, collages and cinema halls to be shut till March 31.

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