Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Dr. S Jaishankar, on Friday, stated that 80 Indian students are still in Wuhan and efforts were being made to bring them back home. The MEA was responding to a question during the proceedings in the Rajya Sabha.
While @EOIBeijing continues to remain available for assistance to Indian nationals in Hubei on the existing hotline and dedicated email, the following hotline numbers of Chinese authorities and universities in Hubei can also be contacted in case any assistance is needed. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/WOJM3n2egm— India in China (@EOIBeijing) February 6, 2020
The Minister mentioned that 70 citizens had chosen to not be evacuated while the other 10 were those who were barred from boarding the flight since they showed symptoms of the virus. Wuhan is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak and has claimed the lives of 637 people and has infected 31, 211 people across China. "I want to assure the House and the families of those in Wuhan that the embassy is in touch with all students and is regularly monitoring their welfare," he said.
The government of India has been taking extensive efforts to ensure that the Indian citizens who are stuck in the region. Last week, the government arranged two Air India flights to bring back more than 600 citizens back to the country. In the second flight, seven citizens from the Maldives were also brought back.
In the Rajya Sabha, the MEA stated that the government of India had asked all neighbouring countries whether they wanted to add their own citizens on the plane back. "At the time when two flights were going, we had told all the students and the larger community in Wuhan that we were prepared not only to bring back our own people but bring back all the people in our neighbourhood who would like to come back. This was an offer which was made to all our neighbours, but of them, seven nationals of Maldives chose to avail the offer. But the offer was made to everybody."
Three people have been confirmed with Coronavirus in India, all three of them are from Kerala and are being kept in isolation for now. The Kerala state government on Sunday declared the virus as a 'state calamity' so that the authorities can take all the necessary steps to tackle the situation.