Maldives foreign minister Abdulla Shahid thanked India and its leadership for evacuating seven Maldivians from China along with Indians aboard an Air India flight on Sunday. The second Air India flight carrying 323 Indian citizens and seven Maldivians landed in New Delhi on Sunday morning after it took off in the intervening night of February 1 and 2 in the wake of the novel Coronavirus outbreak which has claimed over 300 lives in China as per the latest reports with the number of people infected crossing 14,000 across the country.
7 Maldivians in #Wuhan are on their way to Delhi on a special #AirIndia flight. Upon arrival they will be housed in Delhi for a period of quarantine. Deep gratitude to PM @narendramodi and EM @DrSJaishankar. Special thanks to Ambassadors @VikramMisri @sunjaysudhir and their teams— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) February 2, 2020
In his tweets, Abdulla Shahid expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar. He lauded efforts of India's envoy to China Vikram Misri and to the Maldives Sunjay Sudhir. He also thanked Chinese authorities for their assistance.
Grateful to @MFA_China, @AmbassadorZhang and local authorities in #Hubei for the assistance. A very special thanks to our Ambassador in China Ms Azeema and Ambassador in Delhi @aishamdidi and their team. Thank everyone at @MoFAmv for the hard work.— Abdulla Shahid (@abdulla_shahid) February 2, 2020
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had initially played down on the severity of the pandemic citing fewer cases outside China, however, later called it a global health emergency on Thursday.
The government of India started evacuating its citizens from China with its first Air Inda flight bringing back 324 citizens on Saturday. Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Turkey, Germany also evacuated its citizens on Saturday. Multiple countries across the world have not only started evacuating it's citizens from the country but have also started imposing travel restrictions for Chinese nationals and those coming from the country. Countries such as Russia, Australia and the US have imposed a travel ban and have also closed borders for those coming from China.
(Image credit: PTI)