COVID-19: Indian embassy in US asks Indian students to avoid all non-essential travel

Washington DC [US], Mar 14 (ANI): The Indian embassy here on Friday (local time) issued an advisory for Indian students studying in US universities, asking them to avoid all non-essential domestic and international travel.

The advisory was issued after US universities have taken measures to shut down the on-campus operations in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The embassy said that if a university has asked students to vacate, the people should contact the varsity administration to check whether they can continue to stay in on-campus housing.

"If your university is shutting down on-campus services, check with your university on how to avail your university's health services, student health insurance, international student services, and any other essential service(s) that may be impacted," the mission said.

The embassy said that the US government has indicated that coronavirus is an evolving situation and closure of universities might be limited to two to four weeks.

"At this stage, they expect the closure to be of limited duration (two to four weeks), which fits within the current regulatory context. When the school re-opens, the student will resume studies," the statement read.

"Please avoid all non-essential domestic or international travel. For official advisories on the domestic US and international travel, please consult the CDC website," it added.

The embassy also said that if any student is planning travel from the US to India, then he or she will be subject to medical screening upon arrival. "Along with that, he or she may be put in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days if required," it stated.

"All incoming travellers to India, including Indian nationals, from/or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and/or Germany after February 15 will be mandatorily quarantined for a minimum of 14 days. However, if travellers are transiting through any of the above-mentioned countries (i.e. no immigration stamp of the transit counties on their passports), they will not be subjected to a mandatory quarantine," the mission further said.

The embassy has also issued multiple 24x7 helplines to address concerns and queries regarding the recent travel advisory issued by the Indian government which suspended all visas with some exceptions in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

On Thursday, India had suspended all visas with some exceptions including diplomatic and official travel as coronavirus cases continue to proliferate around the world. The Indian embassy in the US issued an advisory on travel to India. (ANI)