External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking in Rajya Sabha
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking in Rajya Sabha

India extended offer of evacuating people from Wuhan to all its neighbours: Jaishankar

ANI | Updated: Feb 07, 2020 18:55 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 7 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday informed Rajya Sabha that India had offered all its neighbouring countries including Pakistan to evacuate their people from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan but only Maldives chose to take up the offer.
"We were prepared to bring back not only our people but also those from all our neighbourhood who would have liked to. This was an offer which was made to all our neighbours but only seven nationals of Maldives chose to avail the offer," Jaishankar said in Rajya Sabha.
As many as 640 Indians and 7 Maldivians had arrived in New Delhi last week on two special Air India flights from Wuhan -- a Chinese city of more than 11 million people which has been the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Moreover, Jaishankar informed that Upper House of Parliament that there are about 80 Indian students who are currently still in Wuhan.
"By our estimate, there are about 80 Indian students who are currently still in Wuhan. This includes 10 students who had come to the airport but were running a fever so Chinese authority after screening did not allow them to board the flight," he said.
"70 of them chose to stay in Wuhan and not get evacuated by the two flights. The embassy is in touch with all the students and we are regularly monitoring their situation," the minister said.
Ever since the evacuation, several video messages have appeared on social media in which students from Pakistan have sought India's help to fly out from China.
Responding to a question on the same, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said on Thursday that India could consider evacuating Pakistani nationals from China "if the situation arises", however, it has "not received any request regarding it from Pakistan government."
Coronavirus originated in China in December, last year, and has since then killed 636 people in that country alone, while cases have been registered in several countries across the world, including India. (ANI)

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