Coronavirus outbreak: Govt suspends visas for three more countries

The IAF’s C-17 Globemaster aircraft brings back 58 Indians from coronavirus-hit Iran. It landed at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad, from where the evacuees were taken to a medical facility
As India reported 14 more cases of coronavirus infection on Tuesday and the situation in Europe worsened, the government suspended all the visas and e-visas granted on or before March 11 to French, German, and Spanish nationals in a bid to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the country. This after the government earlier suspended visas and e-visas to citizens of China, Italy, Iran, Japan, and South Korea.


The number of coronavirus cases in India jumped to 61 after fresh cases were reported from Kerala (eight), Karnataka (three), and Maharashtra (three).


In Bengaluru, Dell — a US-headquartered computer technology company — advised its employees to work from home in India after one of its techies with travel history to Texas, along with his wife and daughter, was tested positive. “We can confirm two employees of Dell India were tested for the COVID-19 virus following their return home from the United States – including a visit to our headquarters in Round Rock, Texas. One employee tested negative, but the other tested positive and has since been placed in quarantine,” the company stated.

The epidemic’s shadow on Holi celebrations in Chennai
The team members in Bengaluru who may have come into contact with the affected employees are already working remotely and will continue to do so till March 24. Dell is also encouraging all the employees who have set-ups for work from home to do so.


An employee of Mindtree, too, was tested positive after returning from an overseas trip. Mindtree said the employee had self-isolated himself upon return from the trip and did not visit the office. The company, however, did not reveal in which city the staffer worked.


UN trade body says outbreak may cost world economy $2 trillion


Also, as the cost of the coronavirus epidemic for the world economy mounted, Richard Kozul-Wright, director, Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said: “We envisage a slowdown in the global economy to under 2 per cent for this year, and that will probably cost in the order of $1 trillion, compared with what people were forecasting back in September.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping visits Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicentre
The UN agency said that apart from the tragic human consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has sparked will likely cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020. It also said that shock from the outbreak will cause a recession in some countries.


The UNCTAD last week had apprehended a $348-million trade impact on India because of the epidemic and that the country figured among the top 15 economies most affected as the manufacturing slowdown in China disrupted world trade.


A preliminary downside scenario sees a $2-trillion shortfall in global income with a $220-billion hit to developing countries (excluding China). The most badly affected economies in this scenario will be oil-exporting countries, but also other commodity exporters, which stand to lose more than one percentage point of growth, as well as those with strong trade linkages to the initially shocked economies.

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