External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar speaking at a press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar speaking at a press briefing in New Delhi on Thursday. Photo/ANI

640 Indians evacuated from coronavirus-hit China: MEA

ANI | Updated: Feb 06, 2020 18:36 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 6 (ANI): As many as 640 Indians and seven Maldivians have been evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan in a "complex operation" done with Beijing's assistance, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
"We have successfully carried out the evacuation of 640 Indian nationals and 7 nationals of the Maldives from 2 flights. These Indian nationals belonged to the city of Wuhan and nearby areas and did not show symptoms of any illness. It was a complex operation. We do appreciate the support and facilitation extended by the government of China during this exercise," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a press briefing.
The Indians and Maldivians had returned on two special Air India flights from Wuhan last week and were subsequently sent to quarantine facilities in Manesar and Chhawla managed by the Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police respectively.
Kumar added that a total of 10 Indians who expressed willingness to return to the country could not travel after they failed the screening process. "Apart from these 10, there are several other people in Wuhan who chose to stay back."
"We got in touch with the Chinese authorities and sought their assistance to monitor their health and welfare. Our missions are in contact with them and we are exploring all possible options to ensure their safety and well being," Kumar said.
Kumar also announced that existing electronic and normal visas are no longer valid for any foreign national travelling from China, adding, "it is applicable only to the Chinese mainland and not to Hong Kong and other areas."
Those having compelling reasons to visit the country have been asked to contact the country's embassy or consulates in China to apply for the visa.
Coronavirus originated in China in December, last year, and has since then killed 562 people in that country alone, while cases have been registered in several countries across the world, including India. (ANI)

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