*This India coronavirus update will post the latest report every week. 

India Covid-19 in Numbers (as of November 24, 2020)

  • Total Number of Cases: 9,184,644

  • Total Number of Recovered Patients: 8,610,001

  • Total Number of Reported Deaths: 134,308

  • COVID-19 Warning Level in India: Level 3, COVID-19 Risk in India is High

*Data lifted from the latest Worldometers.info report and the CDC.

India Coronavirus Update: What is the Current COVID-19 Situation in India?

india coronavirus update

The risk of COVID-19 in India is extremely high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises travellers to postpone any planned trips, whether essential or nonessential, to the country as the risk for contracting the disease is high. 

India is a highly dense country, with a population of 1.38 billion based on the last available statistics. The country’s culture of religious gathering and celebrations is seen as the main reason why the government has posted millions of positive cases, ranking second to the U.S. among the countries with the most cases of the dreaded virus. The people of India rely heavily on religious tourism, and they are also huge on community gathering, which further increases the risk of transmission. 

Weddings in the country are also a big event, with some couples having hundreds to thousands of guests sitting in close distance with each other during ceremonies and merry-making. 

For this reason, several religious organisations managing temples advise devotees to postpone visiting the country for at least two months as a precautionary measure. 

Is It Safe To Travel To India Now?

In terms of health safety, no, it is not safe to travel to India now. Even when practising the minimum health safety measures, the number of cases in the country means that there is an increased risk of transmission. 

Domestic travel in India has resumed since May in response to efforts of jumpstarting its economy. However, international travel remains restricted for visitors with a tourist visa. Aside from Indian nationals and residents, foreign nationals with requirements can also visit the country. Based on the latest update released by the Indian Bureau fo Immigration, foreign nationals can enter India via water routes or flights under the Vande Bharat Mission or Air Bubble (Bilateral Air Travel Arrangement) Scheme or via an unscheduled commercial flight permitted by the Ministry of Civil Action. 

Those that can enter the country must be an Overseas Citizen India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders with any foreign passport, and all foreign nationals, including their dependents with any other visa, except tourist visa. 

The Indian government is adopting a phased approach to the resumption of international flights, following the bilateral bubbles that depend on the reciprocity principle. To date, India is currently in the Unlock 2.0 phase, and more people are bracing for entering the new normal. 

What are the Requirements if I Need to Travel to India During the Pandemic?

If you are among those that can travel to India, here are some of the requirements you have to prepare to ensure admittance: 

  • You have to fill out a self-declaration form at least 72 hours before your scheduled flight. 
  • Upon entry into the country, all arrivals will undergo mandatory medical screening. 
  • All travellers must undergo a 14-day quarantine. The local government allows travellers to admit themselves in a paid institutional quarantine at their own cost for 7 days, followed by 7-day self-isolation at home. 
  • For those who can present a negative RT-PCR test result with proof of authenticity within 96 hours before the scheduled arrival may not need to undergo the institutional quarantine. 
  • Those exempted from institutional quarantine must show proof of exemption after the medical screening. A 14-day self-quarantine at home is still mandatory. 
  • You also have to provide local officials with your contact details. 
  • You will also need to download the Arogya Setu app for monitoring and contract tracing purposes. 

Are there Indian Flights Available Now?

Only domestic flights are currently active. All international flights are under the supervision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, meaning all incoming travellers must only be those allowed by the local government. 

What Safety Health Practices Must I Observe While in India?

If you are travelling to India, it is mandatory to observe the necessary measures to protect yourself and others from getting infected with COVID-19. Note that while the country is slowly opening tourist spots, it is still essential to limit travels within the country. Keep in mind that restrictions vary per state. If you need to go out, make sure it is only to get the essentials. No leisurely travels in the meantime because of the threat of transmission. 

  • Maintain at least six feet distance and avoid any contact from anyone who is not a member of your travel party.
  • Keep your hands always clean by washing with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser.
  • Always wear a medical mask and face shield and keep your face protected when in public places. 
  • Try to avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes.
  • Avoid any contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, do not travel.
  • Keep yourself informed about the local news, as they can impose notices once they note that cases are rising. Visit India's Ministry of Health website for the latest guidelines. 

After you travel, you must still take extra caution to protect yourself and others from the disease further. Your travel exposed you to the risk of COVID-19, and you may have the virus already without knowing it. You will put your friends, family, and community at risk for 14 days after exposure to the virus. You should take these actions to avoid further spread of the virus:

  • As much as possible, stay at home.
  • Avoid interacting with other people.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 infection.

Note: This India coronavirus update was first published in November 2020 and has been updated to include the latest developments.

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