(PTI Photo/Mitesh Bhuvad)

New Delhi: Further tightening the lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread, the government on Tuesday imposed fresh travel restrictions prohibiting the entry of travellers from Afghanistan, Philippines and Malaysia and suspended all flights from the three countries.

The notification will come into effect from Tuesday at 3 pm (IST). The government, in a statement, said the instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently. There are 125 cases of the pandemic in the country as on Tuesday at 9 am.

Afghanistan has reported 22 cases, there are 142 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines and 553 cases in Malaysia.

"In continuation of the travel advisory issued on March 11, the following additional advisory is issued: (i) Travel of passengers from Afghanistan, Philippines, Malaysia to India is prohibited with immediate effect. No flight shall take off from these countries to India after 1500 hours Indian Standard Time (IST)," the notification read.

"This instruction is a temporary measure and shall be in force till 31st March 2020 and will be reviewed subsequently," it added.

The updated travel advisory comes a day after the government announced that travellers from the European Union, Turkey and the United Kingdom are prohibited from March 18.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and said that Europe has emerged as the new epicentre of the disease.

The government has decided to go into a partial lockdown as it ordered the shut down of all educational institutions, places of social gatherings like swimming pools, spas, gyms, museums and cultural centres.

Earlier, the government had suspended all visas to prevent the spread of the virus which has claimed over 6000 lives.

Coronavirus, which originated in the Wuhan city of China, has so far spread to more than 100 countries infecting over 1,20,000 people.

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Free Press Journal