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Explained: The Indian advisory on coronavirus

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New Delhi, Mar 13: The government's focus is on containing and controlling coronavirus the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday and advised Indians to stay put wherever they are and travel only under compelling reasons.

Responding to questions about IPL and other sporting events, it said the MEA's advise would be "not do it at this time but if the organisers want to go ahead, it is their decision".

Explained: The Indian advisory on coronavirus

"The government's immediate concern is to contain and control coronavirus. There is no need to panic. We advise Indians to stay put wherever they are and only travel under compelling reasons," Dammu Ravi, Additional Secretary, MEA and Coordinator (COVID-19), said at a press conference.

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"We have also not issued any guidelines to airlines to stop or reduce flights. It's a commercial decision, we leave it to them to decide," he added.

To questions about organising sporting events, he said, "Think it is for the organisers to decide whether to go ahead with it or not. Our advice would be to not do it at this time but if they want to go ahead, it is their decision."

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government has received requests from four countries for assistance in arranging protective gears.

    NEWS AT NOON, MARCH 13th, 2020

    "We have received requests from Bhutan, Iran, the Maldives, Italy for assistance with masks and protective gears. We are processing it. Earlier, such request was received from China, and a package was sent," he said.

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    Anil Malik, the Additional Secretary from Ministry of Home Affairs, informed reporters that there has been a decline of 40 per cent in number of people travelling to India in the last 20 days.

    "The number of people coming to India dropped by 40 per cent in the last 20 days, the number will come down further," he said.

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