Indian Business Operations and the Coronavirus

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(This article was originally published on January 28, 2020. It was last updated on February 28.)

To date there have been three reported cases of the coronavirus in India, with these patients both hospitalized and quarantined.

We will bring you updates – as necessary – should the situation develop.

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Indian businesses with operations in China should follow our China coronavirus advisory here.

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Current India coronavirus updates

  • 5,123 suspected cases nationally under home surveillance. In Kerala, 1,999 patients are under observation, 75 in isolation wards.
  • The third case confirmed in Kerala state.
  • All inbound arrivals who have visited China since January 15 to be quarantined.
  • Report of the second case in Kerala; government suspends issuing of e-visas for travelers from China.
  • 800 potential cases “under observation”.
  • First confirmed case in Kerala, blood samples required from arrivals at Chennai from Wuhan and quarantine for 28 days. Indian returnees from China are advised to practice home quarantine.
  • India has over 100 non-confirmed cases in quarantine. Screening is taking place in Mumbai and Delhi airports.
  • Indigo Airlines suspends flight connections between Delhi and Chengdu and Bangalore and Hong Kong until February 20.
  • 633 Indian nationals have been quarantined in Kerala after visiting China. Screening is now taking place at 20 airports.
  • February 11 – Two of the three patients in Kerala have tested negative in subsequent tests. All three patients were medical students from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak was first reported.
  • February 11 – In Kerala, 3,252 patients are under observation, 34 are in isolation ward. In Karnataka, 172 patients are under observation.
  • February 12 – The first patient in India to test positive for coronavirus has reportedly recovered. The fresh samples from the patient tested negative. However, health officials are waiting for the results from the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune before making a final confirmation.
  • February 12 – Two Indian crew members tested positive for coronavirus on Diamond Princess, a cruise ship off the Japanese coast. The ship was quarantined with almost 3,700 passengers and crew members, including 138 Indians, aboard on February 3.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 is the official name for coronovirus.
  • India has lifted the ban on the export of personal protection equipment including surgical and disposable masks. However, exports of gloves made from nitrile rubber and masks other than two and three-ply will continue to be restricted.
  • February 13 – Two Indians, who arrived at the Kolkata airport from Bangkok, tested positive for COVID-19. With this, a total of three COVID-19 cases have been reported from Kolkata.
  • According to the travel advisory issued by the government, existing visas are no longer valid for any foreign national traveling from China to India.
  • A 24×7 helpline has been established by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to answer any COVID-19 related concerns. It can be reached at +91-11-23978046.
  • February 14 – One more Indian crew member tested positive for COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast, and has been hospitalized. This brings the total number of Indian patients on the cruise ship to three.
  • In Odisha, 74 people, who returned from COVID-19 affected countries after January 15, have been identified and kept under home quarantine.
  • February 17 – 17 people, who arrived in New Delhi from China and other COVID-19 affected countries before screening at the airport began, were found symptomatic for the infection and are hospitalized. No confirmed case have been reported yet.
  • Two more Indian nationals tested positive for COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast, bringing the total number of infected Indian patients on the ship to five.
  • The Ministry of Finance is scheduled to meet on February 18 to assess the impact of COVID-19 outbreak and any disruptions posed by it to the country’s trade or the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
  • The total number of Indians who have tested positive for COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast now stands at six.
  • February 20 – One more Indian national tested positive for COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast. The total number of infected Indian patients on the ship stands at seven.
  • All three patients infected by COVID-19 in India have recovered. Two were discharged earlier in February, and the health authorities will take a decision on the discharge of the other recovered patient soon.
  • In Chennai, two Chinese crew members of a ship, which arrived from China, have been kept in isolation due to mild fever. The blood samples have been sent to Kings Institute of Preventive Medicine in the city. Reports are expected soon. The ship has 19 Chinese crew members onboard.
  • India’s first patient, who was infected by COVID-19 virus, has recovered and discharged from the hospital.
  • One more Indian national tested positive for COVID-19 on the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast, bringing the total number of infected Indian patients on the ship to eight.
  • February 24 – Four more Indians have tested posted for COVID-19 on Diamond Princess, the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast. The total number of infected Indian patients on the ship stands at 12.
  • February 26 – The total number of infected Indian patients on Diamond Princess, the quarantined cruise ship off the Japanese coast, now stands at 16. India is preparing to evacuate the Indians who tested negative for COVID-19.
  • India is preparing to evacuate a large group of its citizen who are stuck in Wuhan by a special IAF plane, which is expected to land in the city on February 26.
  • February 27 – India has evacuated 76 Indian nationals and  36 foreign nationals from Wuhan. The foreign nationals include 23 nationals from Bangladesh, 6 from China, 2 each from Myanmar and Maldives, and one each from South Africa, the US and Madagascar.
  • India evacuated 119 Indians and 5 foreign nationals who tested negative for COVID-19 from Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that was quarantined off the Japanese coast. They will stay at the government designated quarantine facility for 14 days.
  • February 28 – India cancels all flight operations from Iran amid the spread of COVID-19.
  • India has temporarily suspended visa on arrival for nationals of Japan and South Korea due to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the two countries.

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India Briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists foreign investors throughout Asia from offices across the world, including in Delhi and Mumbai. Readers may write to india@dezshira.com for business support in India.

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