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India expects countries to ease travel curbs on Indians as cases fall

In the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, several countries imposed travel restrictions on Indian travellers.

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File photo of an airport
File photo of an airport

India expects countries to ease travel restrictions on Indians as the COVID-19 situation normalises in the country, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

During a weekly press briefing, MEA spokesperson Arnidam Bagchi said: "We expect countries to ease travel restrictions on Indians as the situation normalises, some countries have started, more should follow"

In the wake of the second wave of COVID-19, several countries imposed travel restrictions on Indian travellers. These include the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Europe, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Thailand and Sri Lanka among others.

Several countries have recently relaxed tourist visa rules for Indians including the Maldives, Nepal and the UAE.

On the query of the World Health Organisation undertaking a global study into the origin of the COVID-19 virus, the MEA spokesperson said it an "important first step" and sought international cooperation for further studies.

"WHO is undertaking global study, it is an important first step. You recall our statement, we also sought cooperation for further studies (to find out the origin of the COVID-19 virus)," Bagchi said.

This comes amid reports that the WHO is expected to restudy the "dominant theory" that the SARS-CoV-2 probably originated and spread across the world from China's Wuhan lab.

According to CNN, previously overlooked Chinese data on extensive screening of animals for around the time the pandemic erupted is among several areas identified for further study by WHO scientists investigating the origins of the virus, as per a source.

The records are contained in a nearly 200-page annexe posted alongside the WHO panel's March report that received little attention among global experts at the time.

However, no date has been set for the team's return to China, but the source said any future visit to the country -- where the virus emerged in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, in late 2019 -- may involve "smaller groups supporting specific studies first.

The WHO team investigating the origins of visited the Hubei Center for animal disease control and prevention in Wuhan on February 2, 2021.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, June 03 2021. 19:34 IST