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The Central government on Tuesday banned all India-bound airlines from boarding any passengers from China and cancelled all existing Indian visas.

Government decision came in the wake of rapid spread of coronavirus outbreak which originated in China’s Wuhan province.

A total of 425 people have died of coronavirus and more than 20,000 people were tested positive till Tuesday morning for the virus in China.

Three people who returned to Kerala from China have been diagnosed with the coronavirus pneumonia.

In a letter issued by the Bureau of Immigration, ministry of home affairs, said: “All airlines are informed not to take on board any passenger from China, including Chinese or other foreign nationals who may be holding valid (electronic travel authority) ETA/e-visa to board their aircraft for any destination in India.”

The implementation of the order “starts with immediate effect and shall remain in force till further notice”, the letter said.

The embassy also announced that “existing visas (both regular and e-visas) are no longer valid” and has asked applicants in China to apply afresh.

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