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Special IAF Plane Reaches Wuhan With Aid, To Return With Indians, Foreign Nationals: Reports

Indian Officials Had Blamed China For Not Granting The Requisite Clearance, A Charge Beijing Denies.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 27 Feb 2020, 12:36:33 AM

S Jaishankar tweeted that the medical relief was a “strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time”. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

New Delhi:

An Indian Air Force (IAF) plane with 15 tonnes of medical aid landed in Wuhan on Wednesday evening, bringing closure to diplomatic differences between India and China over evacuation of Indians stuck in coronavirus-hit city. Indian officials had blamed China for not granting the requisite clearance, a charge Beijing denies.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday tweeted that the medical relief was a “strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time”.

Reports suggest that there are 125 names, which include 88 Indians, would be evacuated from Wuhan. The list also includes 24 Bangladeshi nationals. There are also six Chinese nationals, four women and two children, who are family members of the returning Indians. The rest are two from the Maldives and one each from Madagascar, Tanzania and South Africa, The Wire reported.

According to ANI, the passengers will be kept for requisite quarantine period under the observation of ITBP doctors at the ITBP quarantine facility in Chhawla.

India has also expressed its willingness to evacuate citizens from the neighbourhood countries. India had announced plans to send Indian Air Force's largest plane C-17 Globemaster with medical supplies to China several days ago.

The death toll from coronavirus has reached 2,715 while the number of confirmed cases jumped to 78,064, Chinese officials said on Wednesday.

India operated two special Air India flights on February 1 and 2 and airlifted 647 Indian nationals, mostly students, and seven Maldivian nationals. The previous batches were kept at an army camp in Manesar.

In a special note for the Indians in Wuhan and Hubei province who wanted to be evacuated, the mission informed them that arrangements are being made to pick them up and take them to airport.

Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri recently said that the previous evacuations were difficult and a logistical nightmare as Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were under lockdown since January 23 with a complete ban on transportation services.

(With agency inputs)

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First Published : 27 Feb 2020, 12:34:45 AM