Wednesday April 8, 2020
Home Business Russia Allows...

Russia Allows Chinese Nationals with Business Visas Despite Entry Ban

Russia to Let in Chinese With Business Visas Amid Entry Ban

0
//
Russia
Visitors with official, business, humanitarian or transit visas will still be allowed into Russia, despite entry ban due to coronavirus epidemic. Pixabay

Russia’s entry ban for Chinese nationals will be partial and affect only those who travel with tourist, private, student or work visas, the country’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday, clarifying the conditions of a sweeping entry ban for Chinese citizens announced the day before.

Visitors with official, business, humanitarian or transit visas will still be allowed into the country, the ministry said.

The ban goes into effect Thursday at midnight Moscow time (2100 GMT). It was announced by the Russian government on Tuesday amid the new coronavirus outbreak centered in China that has infected more than 75,000 people worldwide.

The measure is one of many Russia has taken to keep the virus from spreading. The country so far has reported three confirmed cases of the COVID-19 disease — two Chinese citizens in Russia who were treated and released, and a Russian national infected on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Russia
A medical staffer works with test systems for the diagnosis of coronavirus, at the Krasnodar Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology microbiology lab in Krasnodar, Russia. VOA

Trains stopped, school vacation extended

Russia suspended all trains to China and North Korea, shut down its land border with China and Mongolia, and extended a school vacation for Chinese students until March 1. Hundreds of Russians who returned from China this year have been hospitalized as a precaution, and medics continue to monitor more than 14,000 people in total.

However, while some of these steps at first appeared sweeping, they turned out to have loopholes and caveats that allowed Russia to maintain its political and economic ties with China. Those ties became increasingly important for Moscow after its relations with the West soured over Russian’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and other disputes.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova argued that the entry ban was necessary because Russia lacks enough facilities to hospitalize all Chinese travelers who may have the virus.

“Ensuring quarantine conditions with permanent monitoring for thousands of travelers from China is unfeasible,” Golikova said.

As described Wednesday, this week’s partial entry ban would minimize the effect on business connections between China and Russia and on the operation of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, a major transit hub for Chinese tourists traveling to Europe.

In the same vein, the Russian government last month halted most air traffic to China, with exceptions for four Chinese airlines and flagship Russian carrier Aeroflot. Currently, there are still regular flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

China has remained a top trading partner for Russia for the last decade, so cutting the ties completely is hardly an option, said Alexander Gabuyev, chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Russia
Medical staff workers in Russia are dedicating a lot of time researching about the recent coronavirus outbreak. VOA

“This contradiction between the need to … control the spread of disease and at the same time to maintain good economic ties with China is dictating this two-steps-forward-one-step-back policy,” Gabuyev said.

Visitors coming to Russia for business or humanitarian purposes account for 10% of all Chinese travelers, according to Gabuyev. Last year, 1.5 million Chinese tourists traveled to Russia.

Millions could be lost

However, Russia’s tourism industry is about to suffer a significant blow with the flow of Chinese visitors effectively cut off during the entry ban. Because of all the restrictions, tour operators working with Chinese travelers could lose up to $47 million of profits in the coming months, Maya Lomidze, head of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, said Wednesday.

Also Read- Heavy Breakfast and Light Dinner Can Prevent Obesity

“The forecast is pessimistic at this point,” Lomidze said. “It would be good to have an understanding of how the situation in China will unfold and how long the travel ban for Chinese nationals will last.” (VOA)

Next Story

Indians Spend More Time on OTT Media, Education and Fitness Apps During Coronavirus Lockdown

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom

0
Netflix
OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday.

After the COVID-19 outbreak in India, video conferencing applications like Zoom, Hangouts, Google Duo, and Houseparty have seen over 71 per cent increase in time spent, with more than 104 per cent increase in active user count, said the report by Gurugram-headquartered tech company Bobble AI.

The findings are based upon the anonymised and aggregated insights collected on Bobble AI platforms post and during the COVID-19 outbreak in India, the company said. While video conferencing desktop and mobile application Houseparty has seen a massive increase of 215.97 per cent in time spent, along with a spike of 8,142.55 per cent in active users, Zoom has seen an increase of 141.69 per cent in time spent, with an 85.43 per cent increase in engagement rate and a 2,542.23 per cent increase in active users, the results showed.

Please Follow NewsGram on Twitter To Get Latest Updates From Around The World!

OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. The Bobble AI data intelligence and analysis revealed that fitness applications like, Lose Weight at Home, Cure.fit, Home Workout has seen a 39.50 per cent increase in time spent with a 14.72 per cent increase in engagement rate, and 104.53 per cent increase in daily active users.

Coronavirus
With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday. Pixabay

‘Lose Weight at Home’ app has seen a 46.98 per cent increase in time spent, with a 49.33 per cent increase in active users.
Similarly, e-learning platforms like Udemy, Unacademy and Byjus have seen an 82.73 per cent increase in time spent, along with a whopping 122.62 per cent increase in engagement and 25.12 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom. Applications like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter have seen a 46.28 per cent hike in time spent, with a 49.23 per cent increase in engagement and a 29.55 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

ALSO READ : Virgin Coconut Oil: The Oldest and the Healthiest Superfood

There is a 57.64 per cent increase in time on WhatsApp, with a 49 per cent increase in engagement, followed by Instagram with a 50.30 per cent increase in engagement rate, it added. (IANS)