Current situation in India

December 2020

Some time has passed since our last entry. The reason was that there was (unfortunately) no news to report.

India experienced the peak of the pandemic in the months of September and October with daily infection numbers of over 100,000 cases per day. Since then, the situation in India has eased a little. Currently, the number of daily reported infections is ranging between 30,000 and 45,000.

Almost all measures taken by the Indian government in March to contain the spread of the new corona virus have been meanwhile relaxed – under strict conditions.

After shopping centres, restaurants, yoga studios and places of worship, schools and universities have now been allowed to reopen, as have cinemas and theatres (where only a maximum of 50% of the seats may be occupied), sports halls (for training purposes for active athletes), exhibition halls for business fairs, and the metro has been allowed to resume operations. Social, cultural, political or religious events are allowed, subject to precisely specified numbers of people.

Nationwide, wearing face masks is still compulsory in public spaces and social distancing is still in force in India. People over the age of 65 or under the age of 10, as well as pregnant women and people with co-morbidities, are still advised to stay at home.

International travel is still only permitted for people of Indian origin, business people or people from aid organisations with special visas. All tourist visas and e-visas remain suspended and no new visas, especially no e-visas, will be issued.

Depending on the situation, the individual federal states may or must take additional measures or even re-impose a lockdown on individual districts if the infection figures are too high.

Unfortunately, Kerala is currently the most affected state in India after Maharashtra, with almost 60,000 active cases. Accordingly, there are many areas with more or less severe restrictions.

Despite the above mentioned relaxations, which the Indian government has gradually implemented, it is still not possible to open our two Vedasudha Ayurvedic Hospitals.

Unfortunately, at this moment we have to assume that it will not be possible to resume operations before May/June 2021. As soon as new regulations come into force, we will inform you here.

 

We wish all our clients and their families happy, peaceful and above all healthy holidays.

Cordially  George Theruvel & Team

 

September 2020

On 1 September, the fourth phase of the relaxation of the Corona restrictions – Unlock 4.0 – began. Before this, the Indian Government announced which of the measures taken in March to contain the spread of the novel virus can now be relaxed.

From 8 September, the metro will be able to resume service. Social, cultural, political, religious, sport or entertainment gatherings up to a maximum of 100 people will be possible again from the second half of September. Open-air theatres will then also be allowed to re-open.

Schools and universities on the other hand will remain closed, as well as cinemas, theatres, swimming pools and entertainment parks.

A strict lockdown in individual states, districts or neighbourhoods can be decided by local governments, depending on the current situation. For example, the states of Punjab and Maharashtra have decided to maintain the lockdown until 30 September. While in Kerala “only” individual wards in the various districts have been declared as so-called “containment zones” and are therefore affected by the lockdown.

What will still not be possible is international air travel to and from India. As already written in the August round-mail, air traffic has resumed with restrictions. However, these flights are still reserved for Indians living outside India, diplomats and business people with special visas. Persons travelling to India will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine there, as well as when they return to their home country.
All visas issued remain suspended and no new visas are currently being granted.

The number of cases in India continues to rise to new record highs almost daily and the peak of the pandemic still seems to have not been reached in India.

We had hoped to be able to resume operations in October and welcome clients who made reservations with us from then on. But unfortunately we have to assume that our two Ayurveda Hospitals will remain closed until the end of this year.

In principle, reservations for next year can be made. However, reservations are subject to change, as we are currently unable to say when and under what conditions we will be able to reopen the Vedasudha Ayurvedic Hospitals next year.

 

August 2020

The situation in India is still very tense. The number of cases throughout India is increasing daily by about 50’000 cases. However, it must be mentioned that a similarly high number of ill or infected persons are added to the statistics every day as cured or tested negative.

Unfortunately, in Kerala the number of people who are tested positive also increased significantly in July. Compared to the rest of the country, Kerala is still much less affected (a total of about 25,000 cases, of which 11,000 are currently active) than, for example, the two states with the highest infection rates, Maharashtra (a total of about 440,000 cases, of which 148,000 are active) or neighbouring Tamil Nadu (a total of about 257,000 cases, of which 57,000 are currently active).

However, with the loosening of the restrictions that have been in force since the beginning of June, the virus has been able to spread in Kerala more widely and much more rapidly.

Especially along the coast of Kerala and in the capital Thiruvananthapuram, there are hotspots that require a complete lockdown. The central government in Delhi has given powers to the individual federal states, from when on they declare a district a so-called containment zone. The conditions that must then be fulfilled (curfew, closure of all non-essential shops and facilities, intensive contact tracing, etc.) have been set by the national Ministry of Health and Family Affairs.

On August 1st, India entered the third phase of the loosening – ‘Unlock 3.0’ as it is called in India. In this phase, some further restrictions that were imposed in mid-March to contain the spread of the corona virus will be eased.

From tomorrow on yoga studios and fitness centres can open their doors again. The Ministry of Health yesterday announced guidelines on how the studios and centers must operate in the future. In addition, the Indian government has lifted the nightly curfew.

On the other hand, social, political, sports, cultural or religious events are still not possible. Schools, colleges and educational institutions remain closed, as do cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, amusement parks and bars. The metro is also not yet allowed to resume its service.

People over 65 years of age and under 10 years of age, people with comorbidities and pregnant women are still recommended to stay at home.

International travel is no longer completely restricted. This means that there have been a few daily flights to and from India for a little over two weeks, BUT these are reserved exclusively for Nationals of India, business people with special visas, people from aid organisations and diplomats. All visas already issued will remain suspended and no new visas will be granted.

This means that despite the relaxation the situation for the Vedasudha Ayurvedic Hospitals will unfortunately not change. We are still unable to receive guests.

 

July 2020

Unfortunately, the situation in India remains very serious. The number of infections reported daily throughout the country is currently between 25,000 and 28,000 new cases.

The state of Kerala is relatively less affected when India is considered as a whole. With a total number of positive corona cases of 8,300 (out of a population of approx. 34 million), Kerala has only 3.5% of the cases of the worst-affected state, Maharashtra, with a total number of positive tests of approx. 240,000 (out of a population of approx. 114 million).

Nevertheless, the regulations issued by the central government to contain further spread of the disease also apply in Kerala, and Kerala also has “hotspots” in certain areas that necessitate stricter measures up to and including a lockdown.

The Indian government has extended the suspension of international travel until 31 July 2020 due to the continuing rise in the number of infections.
From mid-July onwards, there will be occasional international flights, but these will be reserved for foreign children, diplomats, aid workers and business people with special visas. All previously approved visas remain suspended and no new visas will be issued until further notice.

Despite the serious situation, the month of July is phase 2 of the easing of the complete lockdown in some places. Schools and universities as well as subways, cinemas, gyms, amusement parks, theatres and bars remain closed. Larger gatherings of any kind (social, cultural, political but also religious) also remain prohibited.

The night curfew remains in place, but is slightly relaxed (from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.) and older people over 65, children under 10 and people with pre-existing conditions still have to stay at home.

Larger shops are now allowed to admit more than 5 people – subject to compliance with the distance rules and the mask requirement – and public transport in India (domestic flights as well as train connections) will be further expanded in a dosed form.
In the so-called containment zones, i.e. the areas with high infection rates, on the other hand, the complete lockdown will remain in place.

Since the end of May, India has been using an app called Aarogya Setu (translation: Bridge to Health) to track contacts, provide the latest information on the spread of Covid-19 and help assess any symptoms.

 

May 2020

Due to the current Covid-19 situation the Vedasudha Ayurvedic Hospitals are closed since the end of March until further notice. Like the European countries, India has been in lockdown for just over two months.

  • Since 13 March 2020, India has suspended all visas already issued until further notice. No new visas are currently being issued. This means that travellers of any nationality are no longer allowed to enter India since mid-March.
  • Since 22 March 2020 and also until further notice, all passenger flights to and from India have been cancelled. Domestic air traffic resumed in a very moderate form on 25 May.
  • In addition, a curfew has been in force since 25 March 2020 and has already been extended four times. Lockdown 5.0 as it is called in India (the individual phases of the lockdown have been numbered) is valid until 30 June 2020, with India starting to relax during the course of June.
  • Furthermore, India is divided into zones – green, orange, red, buffer zone and infection zone. The classification is under the responsibility of the individual states. The restrictions vary between ‘normal life is allowed under certain conditions’ and ‘strict curfew’, in which the exit is only possible for essential errands.
  • In addition, there is a night curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the whole of India, masks are compulsory in public places and persons over 65 years of age, pregnant women, children under 10 years of age and persons with previous illnesses should stay at home.

Due to the Corona crisis and the measures taken by the Indian government, the Vedasudha Ayurvedic Hospitals have been closed since the end of March. At the beginning of the lockdown we had hoped that we would be able to reopen our houses in June (a closure in May for renovation work was planned anyway). But unfortunately this will not be possible.

We very much hope that we will be able to resume our regular operations in the Ayurveda clinics in September. We will keep you informed.

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