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India, China in talks over third evacuation flight to coronavirus-hit Hubei; no 'deliberate delay': Chinese source

ANI | Updated: Feb 26, 2020 17:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 26 (ANI): China and India are in communication over the latter's request of sending an aircraft to evacuate remaining Indian nationals stuck in the coronavirus-hit province of Hubei, a Chinese source familiar with the development said on Wednesday, adding that there has been no "deliberate delay" by Beijing in granting permission to New Delhi for the same.
The development has come days after informed sources had told ANI that Beijing is yet to grant clearance to the third flight from New Delhi, which will carry relief supplies to the virus-hit nation and also bring back the remaining Indian nationals from Wuhan.
The Chinese source further said that the communication channels between the respective competent departments of the two countries are "open and smooth".
"The Chinese side provides necessary support and assistance for flying duty by the Indian aircraft. The epidemic situation in Hubei remains complex, while there is a sign of the coronavirus spreading outside China," the Chinese source said.
"In this context, it is imperative for China to carefully assess the ground situation and coordinate departures of foreign nationals in Hubei by airplanes in a responsible manner, in a bid to avoid adding new complicating factors to the epidemic situation in Hubei province and global epidemic control. The process certainly takes some time, with the aim to ensure relevant arrangements made safely and smoothly, reflecting the constructive attitude and humanitarian spirit from the Chinese side," the source added.
The source further said that the Chinese authorities in various levels and universities, where Indian students stay, have taken various measures to ensure their safety, medical care and daily necessities of life.
The Hubei province has been the epicentre of novel coronavirus and has reported a majority of the over 2700 deaths reported in mainland China. The virus has spread to several countries across the world, including India.
"The process certainly takes some time, with the aim to ensure relevant arrangements made safely and smoothly, reflecting the constructive attitude and humanitarian spirit from the Chinese side. The Chinese side takes it seriously regarding the health and safety of the foreign nationals like its own citizens including Indian students in China," the source said.
"It is better for them to follow recommendations of the WHO and instructions of local authorities as epidemic prevention and control work requires. There is no need for panic and anxiety," the source added.
As many as 640 Indians have already been evacuated from coronavirus-hit Wuhan, though many are still stranded across Hubei. None of those Indians who have been evacuated from China have tested positive for coronavirus. (ANI)

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