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The Government of India has suspended the entry of commercial international flights into the country for one week effective from 22 March.

This move is expected to limit the spread of Covid-19 from foreign nationals in the country.

In a statement issued on 19 March, the government said: “No scheduled international commercial passenger flights shall be allowed to land in India from 22 March for one week.”

The government has also stated that it will shut down all concessional travel railways and civil aviation, but this will not apply for students, patients and the ‘divyang’ quota.

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Previously, the government also announced that it has suspended the issuing of the majority of visas.

Earlier this week, India banned the entry of flights from Europe, the UK and Turkey, as well as from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Today, 405 Indian nationals who were stuck in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were repatriated.

India has previously evacuated its citizens from affected regions, including Wuhan in China, Iran, Italy and Japan, along with citizens from other countries such as Myanmar, South Africa and Nepal.

On 21 March, India plans to evacuate citizens from Rome using an AirIndia 787 Dreamliner.

Earlier this month, the Government of India announced the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for international cruise ships to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far killed more than 6,500 and infected more than 169,000 people around the world. India has confirmed 184 cases and four deaths so far.