As coronavirus has spread to a whopping 114 countries across the globe, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared coronavirus as a global Pandemic. WHO has said that it has been tracking the spread of the virus across nations and are “deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction” by the governments.
For the unknown, a Pandemic, as per WHO, is the worldwide spread of disease. WHO doesn’t mention any criteria that it takes into count to declare something as a pandemic. Also, there are no cases of deaths that trigger the definition.
As of now, as many as 118,000 cases of COVID-19 been reported across the globe. Nearly 57 countries, however, haven’t reported a case yet.
WHO has been refraining itself to call coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic until now citing that using such a term would only cause unnecessary panic.
“Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear,” WHO said at a press briefing at the end of February. “What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world affecting different countries in different ways.”
Moreover, as positive coronavirus cases in India has touched the 60+ mark, the government has suspended all tourist visas to India. This comes after several people (including foreigners) with a travel history to countries like Italy were tested positive of the virus.
Italy has been facing a lockdown due to a furious surge in the coronavirus cases, which has caused 100s of deaths.
The Union health ministry said all existing visas — except diplomatic, official, UN/International organisations, employment and project visas — will stand suspended till April 15. “This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure,” read a communique.
However, Visas of all foreigners already in India will remain valid. “Any foreigner for onward journey to India may contact the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) through e-FRRO module for extension/ conversion etc of their visa or grant of any consular service if they choose to do so.”
Out of the 67 people tested positive of the virus, 14-15 are Italian residents. The government has also said that all the people landing in India from different countries, including India, shall be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days.