January 30, Pakistan's government decided not to evacuate students from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to show "solidarity" with its all-weather ally, a senior official said after four Pakistani nationals contracted the deadly disease in China.
Pakistani students put up videos on social media calling for help. A student can be heard saying. "Bangladeshis will also evacuate today. Meanwhile, our government is telling us that you die, live, get infected, or whatever, but we won't evacuate you, facilitate you. Shame on you Pakistan government. Learn from India. Learn by how well they look after their citizens."
Pakistani-origin singer Adnan Sami, who is now an Indian citizen, took to his Twitter handle to slam the government and called the situation 'tragically shameful'.
“Muslims will spend their whole life proving their loyalty to India blah blah blah”!! What benefit are the Pak Muslims enjoying apart from being treated like dispensable scum by their own government? This is shameful! pic.twitter.com/QSwnuGack9— Adnan Sami (@AdnanSamiLive) February 1, 2020
There are up to 800 Pakistanis studying in various universities in Wuhan – a city of 11 million people which has been quarantined by the Chinese authorities in an effort to stem the spread of the deadly virus that has killed 170 people and infected nearly 8,000 others. Pakistan has decided not to evacuate its nationals from China in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said.
"We believe that right now, it is in the interest of our loved ones in China (to stay there). It is in the largest interest of the region, world, country that we don't evacuate them now," he was quoted as saying by Dawn News. "This is what the WHO is saying, this is China's policy and this is our policy as well. We are standing with China in full solidarity," he said.
Meanwhile, the second Air India flight carrying 323 Indian citizens had taken off in the intervening night of February 1 and 2 in the wake of the novel Coronavirus outbreak which has killed over 300 people in China as per the latest reports with the number of people infected crossing 14,000 across the country. Besides Indians, the second evacuation flight accommodated seven Maldivian students as well.
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