Preparations on for evacuating Indians from virus-hit Hubei: MEA

Over 250 Indian students are reportedly stuck in Wuhan, triggering concerns over their well-being

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Wuhan was increased by 325 to 50,333 and the number of fatalities up by 1,290 to 3,869. | PTI Photo

The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday (January 28) said India has initiated preparation for evacuating its nationals from China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak. MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Indian Embassy in Beijing is in touch with the Chinese government, authorities and the nationals in this regard.

“We have begun the process to prepare for evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising out of nCorona-2019 virus outbreak in Hubei Province, China,” he said in a tweet. “Our @EOIBeijing is working out the logistics & is in touch with the Chinese govt. authorities & our nationals on this matter. We will continue to share updates.”

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The toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has soared to 106 while nearly 1,300 new cases have been confirmed. Those coming from China are being screened for symptoms of the virus. Over 250 to 300 Indian students are reportedly stuck in Wuhan in Hubei province, triggering concerns over their well-being.

The coronavirus is a new type of pneumonia, officially being described as 2019-nCoV. Wuhan and 17 others cities in Hubei Province remained the epicentre of the outbreak with most of the deaths reported from there.

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On Monday, a meeting, which was chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, reviewed India’s preparedness to deal with the virus amid mounting global concern over increasing number of cases in China and several other countries.

In India, no case has been detected so far though nearly 450 people have been kept under observation in the country, most of them in Kerala, following screening for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus. Some, who have returned from China in recent weeks, have approached medical authorities as a precautionary step.

(With inputs from agencies)

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