As the unprecedented outbreak of deadly coronavirus has sparked fears globally, India has requested the Chinese government for the permission to operate two flights to evacuate Indian nationals from Hubei Province of China. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar posted an update on January 29 that Indian Embassy in China is also currently in touch with the Chinese authorities for the necessary logistics to bring back Indians.
⚠#CoronaVirusOutbreak Update— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) January 29, 2020
Chinese Government requested for permission to operate two flights to bring back our nationals from Hubei Province of China. @EOIBeijing in touch with Chinese authorities on the ground to work out necessary logistics. We will share regular updates.
The novel virus has already claimed nearly 132 lives in China with 5,974 confirmed cases in the country. Embassy of India in Beijing posted an update on January 29 informing about their work to ensure 'smooth evacuation' of Indians from China. On evacuation, all individuals will be quarantined for two weeks and arrangements are made for the same.
@EoIBeijing is working hard to ensure smooth evacuation of our citizens from Hubei Province. We are already in touch with many sections of Indian Community in Hubei, including our students. (1/2)@MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @SecretaryCPVOIA— India in China (@EOIBeijing) January 29, 2020
As per the statement of the Health Ministry, travel advisories have been sent to adjoining countries including China to spread information about the disease globally. The screening of passengers with travel history from China which was earlier only on seven airports has been extended to 13 more, taking the total to 20. According to the press release by the government, the authorities have been using thermal scanners for faster screening.
Besides a lab in Pune, four more labs have been readied for testing the samples. Furthermore, the ministry of shipping has also initiated screening at major ports. Till January 28, according to the statement, 155 flights were screened including 33,552 passengers. Out of all, samples of 20 passengers have been tested in NIV Pune and all were negative.
(with inputs from agencies)