Will provide necessary assistance for evacuation of Indians, other nationals from Wuhan: China
Beijing: As India prepares to airlift its citizens from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, China said on Wednesday that it would make all appropriate arrangements and provide necessary assistance if any country “insists” on evacuating its nationals.
Besides India, several other countries including the US, France, Japan, South Korea, are making arrangements to airlift their nationals from central Hubei province and its capital city Wuhan.
The coronavirus, which first emerged in Wuhan in late December, has killed 132 people, infected nearly 6,000 others and spread to at least 17 countries.
Making final preparations for evacuation of over 250 Indians, mostly students and professionals, from Hubei province, the Indian Embassy on Wednesday circulated online forms seeking their consent for a 14-day mandatory quarantine in India and the likelihood of getting rejected for evacuation or “even placed in quarantine by Chinese authorities” based on the medical checks before boarding the plane.
The Embassy also sought their details like full name, passport numbers and addresses etc to prepare a final list to fly back home.
India has requested the Chinese government for permission to operate two flights to bring back its nationals from Hubei province, according to officials.
Also, the Chinese Foreign Ministry which is coordinating the evacuation of the foreign nationals told PTI here on Wednesday that China would make appropriate arrangements if any country “insists” on evacuating its nationals.
“China attaches great importance to protecting the lives and health of citizens of all countries in Wuhan, Hubei province, and will continue to take active and effective measures to address their legitimate concerns and demands in a timely manner,” the foreign ministry said in response to a question.
“If a country insists on evacuating its citizens in Wuhan, China will make appropriate arrangements and provide necessary assistance and convenience in accordance with international practice and China’s relevant provisions on epidemic prevention,” the ministry said.
A large number of foreign nationals from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh from the neighbourhood besides African countries were reportedly stranded in Hubei province.
World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday that the UN health body “does not recommend the evacuation” of foreign nationals from virus-hit Hubei province as he called on the international community to remain calm.
The Indian Embassy has reportedly compiled a list of Indians to be flown out.
The embassy has informed the stranded Indians that upon their arrival in India they need to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a designated city, the name of it which has not yet been revealed.
The quarantine was necessary as experts say the incubation period of the new virus was on average three to seven days, with the longest being 14 days.
The Indian embassy has opened three hotlines to help the Indians in Wuhan to cope up with the crisis.