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Medical Tourism in India amid Travel Restrictions and COVID 19

Medical Tourism in India and Covid 19

It is fair to say that 2020 has been a tough year so far. And for many, A Tragic Year! Since the first case of the COVID-19 was reported, there has been a wave of anxiety around the globe. Anywhere you turn, someone’s either talking about the virus, reading about it, or stockpiling masks and sanitizers for it!

The most contagious virus!
IndiCure understands that such uncertain outbreaks can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, especially when it comes to travelling to a different country for medical purposes. Ensuring that our medical tourists stay safe, healthy, and informed about the novel coronavirus is at the top of our agenda.

With that in mind, IndiCure has pulled together all the important information regarding the current travel restrictions in India. IndiCure also encourages everyone to make informed decisions about traveling before, during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19). Make sure to thoroughly check your home travel restrictions too.

The Government of India has suspended all tourist and non-urgent medical visas to India till 15th April 2020 in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

As of March 17, 2020: 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).

In addition to the Visa restrictions already in place, the following travel restriction shall also come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 18, 2020

1. All passengers coming from European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden), European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland), Turkey, and the United Kingdom have been prohibited from entering India from any of the Land/Air/Seaport ICPs. This restriction shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of the first departure, and shall remain till March 31, 2020 and is a temporary measure.

The earlier visa restrictions, as mentioned below, shall also remain in force

1.  All existing visas issued to nationals of any country except those issued to Diplomats, Official passport holders, those in UN / International organizations, those on Employment, Project visas and those who are operating aircrew of scheduled commercial airlines, and who had not yet entered India, stand suspended w.e.f. 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 till April 15, 2020.

2.    Visas of all foreign nationals already in India remain valid. They may contact the nearest FRRO/FRO through e-FRRO module for extension/ conversion etc. of their visa or grant of any consular service.

3.    The validity of OCI card of foreigners presently in India shall remain.

4. Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders who are not in India presently, has been kept in abeyance till April 15, 2020. This has come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure of any foreigner for onward journey to India

5.    Any foreign national (including OCI cardholder) who intends to travel to India for compelling reasons may contact the nearest Indian Mission for the fresh visa.

6. International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated Immigration Checkposts that have been notified by MHA vide O.M. No.25022/12/2017-Imm dated March 14, 2020.

Mandatory compliance of Travel Advisory issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India

1.  Passengers travelling from / having visited Italy or Republic of Korea and desirous of entering India will need a certificate of having tested negative from COVID-19 from the designated laboratories authorised by the Health Authority of these countries. This is enforcement since 0000 hrs. of March 10, 2020 and is a temporary measure till cases of COVID-19 subside.

2.  All incoming travellers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain, and Germany after Feb. 15, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on March 13, 2020 at the port of departure.

3.  All passengers coming from UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait will be placed under compulsory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days which shall come into effect from 1200 hrs GMT on March 18, 2020 at the port of the first departure.

4.    Indian nationals are further strongly advised to refrain from travelling to China, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain and Germany.

5.    Incoming travellers including Indian nationals are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days on their arrival in India.

6.    Indian nationals are further strongly advised to refrain from travel to China, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea, Japan, France, Spain & Germany.

7.    All incoming international passengers returning to India should self-monitor their health and follow required do’s and don’ts as detailed by the Government.

8.    International traffic through land borders will be restricted to designated check posts with robust screening facilities. These have been notified separately by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

9.    All international passengers entering India are required to furnish duly filled self-declaration form in duplicate (including personal particulars i.e. phone no. and address in India) (as annexed) to Health Officials and Immigration officials and undergo Universal Health Screening at the designated health counters at all Points of Entry.

For more information:

Who should we trust for travel advice?
IndiCure advises checking with your local government travel advisory for the latest advice before you plan to travel anywhere in the world. If your local government sets a ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory, we would recommend you to cancel your planned trip or reroute the itineraries to avoid the destinations concerned. Listening to rumors, misleading information, or stumbling down a terrifying social media rabbit hole is not advisable.

If I decide to travel in an emergency, what can I do to avoid getting sick?
The WHO has released some basic protective measures for personal hygiene, social distancing, and cough/sneeze etiquette. The most important recommendations include:

§  Clean hands with soap & water or alcohol-based hand rub
§  Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow
§  Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms
§  Thoroughly cook meat and eggs
§  No unprotected contact with live wild or farm animals

In the meantime, share your pictures/photos
Meanwhile, you can share your picture s of the target areas/medical reports so that we can prepare your treatment and help you with the customized cost of your surgery.

As always, your safety is our priority and we encourage you to take this time now and do your research so you are prepared well in advance. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.