Govt Prepares to Airlift Indians from China

Delhi: The Centre on Monday asked the Ministry of External Affairs to prepare for evacuating Indians from China at short notice and ordered increased vigil and screening on its border with Nepal after a confirmed case of coronavirus infection was reported in the neighbouring country.

About 700 Indian students are believed to be studying in Wuhan and its surrounding areas, which are at the heart of the viral outbreak, said officials. While most of them had left for home during Chinese.. during Chinese New Year holidays, 250-300 were said to be still in and around the city.

The officials said, will be making a request to Chinese authorities for possible evacuation of Indian nationals from Wuhan. The Indian embassy in Beijing also put out posts on social media platform Twitter asking Indian nationals stuck in Wuhan and its surrounding areas to provide their locations. Air India, on the other hand, was asked to keep an aircraft ready to evacuate Indians from China at short notice. Airline officials said they were in touch with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for early approvals. The regulator too is on alert to deal with the necessary paperwork at any hour of the day.