Indian embassy in US in contact with Indian students to mitigate difficulties amid COVID-19 crisis: Ambassador Sandhu

Washington [US], Mar 14 (ANI): The Indian embassy here said it is in contact with Indian students to mitigate the difficulties being faced by them owing to preventive measures being enforced amid the coronavirus outbreak.

'We are in touch with Indian students, university authorities, local officials, Indian American associations and Government of India to mitigate the difficulties being faced by the students due to the preventive measures being enforced as a result of developing medical emergency situation," Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said on Friday.

The envoy's comments come after a few universities have asked students to leave their dorms after giving a week's notice.

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.

In a statement, the embassy said that the visa-free travel facility granted to Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders is kept in abeyance till April 15.

It further said that international traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. The Ministry of Home Affairs will separately notify these check posts.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

Coronavirus, which originated in the Wuhan city of China, has so far spread to more than 100 countries infecting over 1,20,000 people. India has confirmed 82 cases of lethal infection. (ANI)