Coronavirus: India prepares to evacuate remaining Indians from Wuhan
Beijing, Feb. 25 (PTI): India is preparing to evacuate a large group of its citizens, who are stuck in China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan city, by a special IAF plane, which is expected to land there with relief medical supplies on Wednesday.
“We are working on our plan for operating the relief flight tomorrow,” said an Indian Embassy message sent to the Indians who have enrolled to go by the special flight.
About 90 to 100 Indians were expected to board the flight.
India has also expressed its willingness to evacuate citizens from the neighbourhood countries.
India had announced plans to send Indian Air Force’s largest plane C-17 Globemaster with medical supplies to China several days ago. Indian officials have blamed China for not granting the requisite clearance, a charge Beijing denies.
However, officials here said on Tuesday that the special flight is expected to land in Wuhan on Wednesday as necessary permissions are being obtained. It is bringing relief supplies like medical gloves, suits and other materials to be used in efforts to combat the COVID-19 in China.
The death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,663 while the number of confirmed cases jumped to 77,658, Chinese officials said on Tuesday.
India operated two special Air India flights on February 1 and 2 and airlifted 647 Indian nationals, mostly students, and seven Maldivian nationals.
About 100 people were expected to join the third flight which would take them to Delhi where they would undergo quarantine in special camps.
The previous batches were kept at an army camp in Manesar.
In a special note for the Indians in Wuhan and Hubei province who wanted to be evacuated, the mission informed them that arrangements are being made to pick them up and take them to the airport.
“Embassy representatives who are already in touch with you individually will directly advise you regarding the exact time of pick up. We are making arrangements for your pick up and onward movement to Wuhan airport by vehicles hired by the Embassy,” the note said.
“You are requested to prepare for departure tomorrow morning bearing in mind the points mentioned in the advisory already issued on this group,” the note told the Indians.
“Kindly note that these arrangements are still tentative and subject to change. We appreciate your understanding and patience,” it said.
Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri recently said that the previous evacuations were difficult and a logistical nightmare as Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were under lockdown since January 23 with a complete ban on transportation services.
Coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess
Indians, onboard the cruise ship off the Japan coast, who have not tested positive for the novel coronavirus will be repatriated on February 26 by a chartered flight, the Indian embassy here said on Tuesday, as the number of infected Indians on the vessel rose to 16 after the completion of all tests.
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, onboard the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.
“PCR test results for all Indian nationals declared-02 more Indians tested positive to #COVID19, taking the total to 16. Those fulfilling conditions and consenting to repatriation to India on 26 Feb being facilitated by the Indian Government. Details shared with them,” the mission tweeted.
“A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals onboard Diamond Princess, provided they have (a) consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19, (c) cleared by the medical team,” the mission tweeted earlier.
“An email advisory to this effect, with details, has been sent to them,” it said. Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. Over 1,000 passengers and crew still remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.