India imposes visa restrictions to slow coronavirus outbreak

India has curtailed the number of visas on offer to foreign travellers as it seeks to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus.

The country has so far confirmed 73 cases of the virus, the health ministry said in a statement.

This number is expected to grow in coming days, however, as the results for tests conducted earlier become available.

There have been no reported deaths.

In response to the outbreak, only diplomatic, official, employment and project visas will be exempt from the current restrictions.

Tourism visa applications will be suspended, while visa free travel afforded to overseas citizens of the country has also been suspended.

Officials will re-examine the situation in one month.

The move is expected to impact negatively on the tourism, hotel and aviation industries.

However, the vast majority of travel in India comes from the domestic market, which could alleviate some of the financial impact on the hospitality sector.

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