MEA reacts to Wuhan virus outbreak, says no Indians affected so far

Reacting to the Wuhan virus outbreak, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday said the Indian Embassy in Beijing is constantly checking on the health and well-being of Indians in China in the wake of the spread of the deadly coronavirus and stated that no Indian citizens had been affected by the virus.

The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019.
The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019.Photo courtesy: Twitter/@JayBanzia

The Indian Embassy in Beijing on Monday called for Indians in Wuhan and Hubei provinces of China to stay calm and notify the consulate of their requirements for food, shelter or if they did not have their passports.

India on Sunday said it is examining "all options" in consultation with the Chinese government to address the concerns of over 250 stranded Indians, including students, in Wuhan, the epicentre of the fast-spreading coronavirus.

"Our embassy in Beijing is constantly checking on the health and well-being of the Indians in China. Please follow @EOIBeijing for more updates on the situation," Jaishankar tweeted.

He also retweeted the posts of the Indian Embassy in Beijing.

An Air India Boeing 747 has been kept on standby for the evacuation of Indian citizens from Wuhan city of China, according to an official of the national carrier.

India on Sunday opened a third hotline in view of the "large number" of phone calls from the Indians who are mostly students, the Indian Embassy in Beijing said.

"In view of the large number of calls received in the two hotline numbers set up by @EOIBeijing in connection with the outbreak of coronavirus infection, @EOIBeijing has decided to open a third hotline number 8618610952903," the Embassy said in a tweet.

The other two hotline numbers are 8618612083629 and 8618612083617, the Embassy said. A dedicated email address, helpdesk.beijing@mea.gov.in, has been set up to deal with the emergency.

"As of now, we understand that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak and that food and water supplies are available to them," tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019.

About 700 Indian students are believed to be enrolled into several universities in the city and surrounding areas. Wuhan along 12 other cities have been completely sealed by the Chinese authorities to stop the virus from spreading.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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