India has gained Beijing’s permission to airlift its citizens from the virus-hit city of Wuhan. A Boeing 747 VT-ESO will leave Mumbai at midnight tonight, India time, to airlift 250 Indians, said reports.
“Once they are brought back, they will be kept in quarantine for two weeks,” said Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday.
Sources said Beijing buckled under pressure from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
A group of Indian students in Wuhan had appealed to the Indian government to make every effort to save them as they ran out of food and water in their dormitory due to the city’s ongoing closure.
The stranded students belong to Assam, Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir.
At least 132 people in China have died from the rapidly spreading corona virus, while nearly 6,000 people have been infected so far, national health officials said on Wednesday morning.
International Indian airlines such as IndiGo have advised pilots and cabin crew to wear masks and avoid public places during layovers in Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Stepping up its preparation to fight the threat of a potential novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak, the Indian government on Tuesday said that screening of passengers would be expanded to 20 airports along with adding new laboratories to test the virus.