Coronavirus: US Embassy, Consulates in India cancel all visa appointments
The move comes after US President Donald Trump on Friday officially declared a national emergency due to the deadly pandemic.
The US Embassy and Consulates in India have cancelled all visa appointments from March 16 in the wake of coronavirus outbreak that has so far killed over 5,000 people. This comes as US President Donald Trump on Friday officially declared a national emergency that he said would give states and territories access to up to USD 50 billion in federal funds to combat the pandemic.
A statement issued by the US Embassy in Delhi said: "US Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward."
"Your visa appointment stands as cancelled. Once Mission India resumes regular consular operations, appointments will be made available and you will be able to reschedule," it said.
In accordance with public health recommendations, beginning Monday, March 16, Mission India’s American Centers in New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Mumbai will pause in-person programming and close public access until further notice. https://t.co/zuy8PTyiQB— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) March 14, 2020
U.S. Mission India posts, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, are cancelling immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments from March 16, 2020, onward. More here: https://t.co/xDACtcz8lp— U.S. Embassy India (@USAndIndia) March 14, 2020
The deadly virus has spread to 46 of the 50 US states, with nearly 2,000 cases being reported from across the country.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization's head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has called Europe the "epicentre" of the global coronavirus pandemic. He urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives. "Do not just let this fire burn," he said.
His comments came as several European countries reported steep rises in infections and deaths. Italy has recorded its highest daily toll yet. There were 250 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall.