CORONAVIRUS/Ministry warns against travel to India amid COVID-19 crisis

05/04/2021 09:46 PM
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A COVID-19 treatment center in India. Photo courtesy of Anadolu Agency
A COVID-19 treatment center in India. Photo courtesy of Anadolu Agency

Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Tuesday issued a red travel advisory for India, the highest level on its four-tier warning system, as that country's medical system continues to struggle under skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

Cases in the South Asian country began to surge in March, with more than 19 million people in the country having contracted the disease to date, the ministry said in a press release.

In the past week, there have been over 350,000 new reported cases per day and the country is facing an acute shortage of hospital beds and oxygen, the ministry noted.

MOFA officials warned against visiting India and called on Taiwanese in the country to leave as soon as possible.

In case of emergency, Taiwanese nationals can call the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center (TECC) in India at +91-9810-502-610 or the ministry itself at +886-800-085-095.

According to information provided by the TECC, more than 20 Taiwanese nationals in India have been confirmed as having tested positive for COVID-19 and one of them, surnamed Yang (楊), died on May 1.

Of the 300 Taiwanese executives dispatched to India, around 150 are still in the country. MOFA has previously said that it would help arrange charter flights for them if they wish to return to Taiwan, as India's civil aviation authorities have banned international passenger flights to and from India since March 2020.

Also on Tuesday, the ministry said that five employees at TECC have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently in quarantine.

The other 12 employees at the office have tested negative for the disease and will work from home until May 14, the ministry said, adding that the office has been disinfected.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Chiang Yi-ching)

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