India has begun the process to prepare for the evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising from the deadly Coronavirus in Hubei Province of China, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said today.
The Embassy of India in Beijing was working out the logistics and was in touch with the Chinese government authorities and Indian nationals on the matter, he tweeted.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said the government was trying to evacuate Indians, most of whom were students, from Wuhan city by sending a plane. “I can assure you that the Government of India is working on it and very soon some solution will be found,” he said.
It is understood that flag carrier Air India has kept one of its 423-seater jumbo planes ready in Mumbai for the evacuation. The decision follows the government’s instructions to various ministries to take steps to deal with the issue.
Sources said the government was working with the Chinese authorities to make an assessment about the number of people stranded in Wuhan. Indian nationals have also been asked to submit their passport details to the embassy in Beijing.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing on social media has noted that some Indian nationals were not in possession of their passports because they have submitted them to the Chinese authorities for visa extension or work permits or other reasons. All Indian nationals presently in Hubei province and not in possession of their passports have been requested to intimate the embassy with details such as name and passport number.
Three suspected cases of coronavirus have been reported from Delhi’s Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML). The blood samples of three people — all men aged between 24 and 48 — have been sent to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for testing. A man was also hospitalised in Pune on suspicion of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus during his recent visit to China, taking the total number of such admissions to six in Maharashtra so far.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan reviewed the preparedness regarding the deadly virus with senior officials of his ministry today.
China on Tuesday urged its citizens to postpone trips abroad as the country expands a massive effort to contain the viral outbreak that has killed more than 100 people nationwide.
The recommendation to delay non-essential travel was issued “in order to protect the health and safety of Chinese and foreign people”, the Chinese authorities said.
As of Tuesday, more than 4,000 people have been infected across China, the bulk of them in and around Wuhan.