Friday, May 7, 2021

Nigerians jostle for Indian visas regardless of lethal COVID-19 variant outbreak

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•Hospital hearth kills 18 virus sufferers in South Asian nation

Regardless of the outbreak of a lethal variant of COVID-19 in main cities in India, many Nigerians are nonetheless jostling to get visas to the South Asian nation.

Findings revealed that the consular division of the Indian Excessive Fee was nonetheless receiving an enormous variety of functions from potential Nigerian travellers.

Considered one of our correspondents, who was on the Indian Excessive Fee in Abuja in the course of the week, noticed many Nigerians ready on the consular division for interviews.

Sunday PUNCH additionally noticed the consular workers taking the biometrics of visa candidates whereas many Nigerian passports have been seen mendacity on the desks awaiting the eye of consular officers.

The variety of functions obtained by the mission couldn’t be instantly ascertained.

However a consular officer, who spoke on situation of anonymity, stated the excessive fee was very strict with granting visas on account of the outbreak of the lethal variant of COVID-19 which has claimed hundreds of lives in India.

The officer stated, “We’re shocked that many Nigerians are nonetheless coming for visas regardless of the COVID-19 deaths in India. Lots of them claimed they have been going for enterprise or tourism however we’re giving visas solely to these with medical emergencies.

“Among the candidates don’t appear to have real causes for travelling to India at this time limit, so we’re imposing strict guidelines in granting visas. Solely these travelling for medical causes stand nice probabilities of getting our visa.”

When requested concerning the possible importation of the mutant COVID-19 from India, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service, Sunday James, stated, “The Nigeria Immigration Service is doing every part doable to make sure that all protocols on COVID-19 are adopted on the nation’s entry factors.

“We’re additionally dedicated to making sure that each one those that don’t report as stipulated within the protocols may have their passports revoked.”

In the meantime, a hearth in a COVID-19 hospital ward in western India killed 18 sufferers on Saturday, because the nation grapples with a lethal second wave of the coronavirus, the Related Press reported.

The Asian nation on Saturday set one more every day international report with 401,993 new instances, taking its tally to greater than 19.1 million. One other 3,523 individuals died previously 24 hours, elevating the general fatalities to 211,853, in accordance with the nation’s well being ministry.

The hearth broke out in a COVID-19 ward on the bottom flooring of the Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, a city in Gujarat State, and was extinguished inside an hour, the police stated, including that the reason for the fireplace outbreak was being investigated.

Thirty-one different sufferers have been rescued from the blaze by hospital employees and firefighters and their situation was secure, the police acknowledged.

The same incident occurred in April in an intensive care unit when a hearth killed 13 COVID-19 sufferers within the Virar space on the outskirts of Mumbai.

In one other incident, 12 COVID-19 sufferers, together with a health care provider, on high-flow oxygen died Saturday on the Batra Hospital in New Delhi after the hospital ran out of oxygen provide for 80 minutes.

The hospital director, S Gupta, stated the ability had been dealing with irregular oxygen provide from producers for greater than per week, but it surely exhausted it utterly for the primary time.

Gupta stated the hospital tank was refilled with sufficient oxygen for 12 hours and it might once more be searching for replenishment.

A number of nations resembling the US, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Bangkok have since been rendering medical and human help for India.

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