As concerns over the coronavirus escalate, External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar apprised about the evacuation of over 640 Indians from coronavirus-hit China. Over last weekend, Air India conducted two special flights to Wuhan in China, evacuating 647 Indians and seven Maldivians.
The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in China crossed over 500 on Wednesday, as 65 more died in the Hubei province, RT reported citing Chinese state TV. Raveesh Kumar further stated that the complex evacuation operation was done with Beijing's assistance.
He added that apart from those evacuated, 10 other Indians have indicated that they want to come back from China but were unable to clear the health screening process.
"We've successfully carried out the evacuation of over 640 Indian nationals & seven Maldives nationals on 2 flights. It was a complex operation&we do appreciate the support and facilitation extended by the Government of China during this exercise," Kumar said.
The MEA further stated that the normal visas and all existing e-visas from China that have been issued are no longer valid.
"All existing e-visas from China are no longer valid. Similarly, normal visas that have been issued are also no more valid. Those who have compelling reasons to visit India, they can contact our Embassy or the nearest consulates to apply for visa," he said.
Aviation regulator DGCA told airlines on Wednesday that any person who will henceforth travel to the country will be quarantined on return. Among Indian airlines, IndiGo and Air India have suspended all of their flights between the two nations. SpiceJet continues to fly on the Delhi-Hong Kong rout.
In its circular to domestic as well as international airlines, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said, "People have already been advised to refrain from travel to China through an earlier advisory. People travelling to China henceforth will be quarantined on return."
(With Agency Inputs)