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New Delhi
Friday 3 July 2020

India evacuates 195 citizens, 41 foreigners from coronavirus-hit Wuhan, Japanese cruise

While in this third operation of the IAF, it rescued 76 Indians and 36 foreigners from Wuhan, 119 people stranded in a ship near Japan were evacuated too

As coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in China, the government of India evacuated 195 of its citizens the worst-affected city of Wuhan and a Japanese ship. The Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft arrived in New Delhi this morning carrying 76 Indians stranded in Wuhan and 36 citizens from 7 countries. Foreign Minister S Jaishankar tweeted this information.

As many as 119 people (113 crew members and 6 passengers) were rescued from a cruise ship Diamond Princess near Yokohama of Japan the same day.

This was the IAF’s third rescue operation of the type, evacuating in all 723 Indians and 43 foreigners.

The government has informed that all the evacuees above will undergo a 14-day quarantine at facilities set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana.

Jaishankar tweeted that the IAF aircraft returned on Thursday morning carrying 76 Indians and about 36 civilians from neighbouring countries Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, China and also faraway nations like South Africa, the US and Madagascar from the city of Wuhan.

Earlier, the IAF C-17 military aircraft had arrived in Wuhan with about 15 tonnes of medical supplies for people affected by diseases related to the 2019 novel coronavirus in China. The foreign ministry said the aircraft contained medical supplies, including masks, gloves and other medical equipment.

So far, India has rescued a total of 842 Indians and 48 foreign nationals from China and Japan.

Last week, India had alleged that China was deliberately refusing to allow the rescue operation while it had permitted other countries to operate flights to take its citizens from Wuhan. China had dismissed India’s allegations.

The foreign ministry said today that medical supplies would help China in its efforts to control the spread of coronavirus. The World Health Organisation has declared the spread of coronavirus a public health emergency.

The number of deaths due to coronavirus infection in China has crossed 2,715 as per China’s admission. The number of confirmed cases of the virus is almost 80,000. It was reported on Thursday that the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) has slowed down.

Worldwide, different agencies suspect the real magnitude of the pandemic is much greater than what China is admitting.

195 Indians, 41 foreigners stranded in coronavirus-hit areas evacuated
Excerpts from a 25 February report in Financial Times

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