Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong
Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong

Remain calm, don't overreact, WHO confident of epidemic prevention: Chinese envoy to India

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2020 20:34 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 28 (ANI): Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong on Tuesday urged the international community to "remain calm and not overreact," hours after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved the Air India flight to Wuhan for the evacuation of Indian citizens from the coronavirus hit city.
"The World Health Organisation (WHO) does not recommend the evacuation of nationals," the ambassador told ANI, calling upon the international community to "remain calm and not overreact."
"The WHO is confident in China's epidemic prevention and control ability," added Sun Weidong.
Earlier ANI, quoting Air India (AI) officials, had reported that "Air India Boeing 747 is on standby for the evacuation of Indians from Wuhan (China). Carrier is waiting for the government decision."
Air India has currently four jumbo double-decker Boeing-747 aircraft on its fleet, and one of them has been kept on stand by for evacuation from Wuhan.
Following the outbreak of the deadly virus, China has imposed a lockdown in the city. However, the virus has spread to several other countries.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that the Indian Embassy in Beijing is in close contact with the Chinese government in order to facilitate the evacuation of the Indians, mostly students, from Wuhan by sending a plane due to coronavirus outbreak.
The toll from the deadly coronavirus rose to 80 in China with 2,744 confirmed cases of the disease reported from the country on Monday.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
China has imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities, amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.
India's Civil Aviation Ministry has also opened health camps at seven Indian airports across the country to screen passengers arriving from China as well as Hong Kong. (ANI)