The Indian Airforce Force (IAF) flight that was scheduled to evacuate 100 Indians stranded in Coronavirus hit Wuhan and provide relief supplies on February 21 was unable to leave due to delay in clearance by Chinese authorities.
Sources: It may be recalled that PM Modi wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping conveying solidarity of people and government of India with people and Govt of China in meeting the challenge of coronavirus outbreak;and offered to provide whatever assistance possible to China.
— ANI (@ANI) February 22, 2020
Media reports that cite sources in New Delhi on Sunday alleged that the delay on the part of China was “deliberate.” The Chinese authorities had however maintained that there was no delay. But, the clearance for evacuation by a massive C-17 Globemaster military transport aircraft was not provided. Coronavirus has affected 76,000 people and killed 2300 till now.
India had earlier evacuated over 300 citizens stranded in Wuhan including 9 Maldivian nationals. A source said, “The remaining Indians in Wuhan are continuing their long wait for the flight to evacuate them and the delay is causing them and their families in India tremendous mental anguish.” He also alleged that evacuation operations carried out by other countries were running “unhindered” while Indian relief flights were being delayed.
Another source asked whether the Chinese authorities were uninterested in India’s “token of support.” He also questioned the “roadblocks” being created in the way of the evacuation process.
China has been facing a shortage of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves ever since the country was hit by the outbreak of deadly novel coronavirus. As such, medical workers had become vulnerable to infection. India had, therefore, sent relief supplies to China by setting aside the export ban on protective medical clothing. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping to express solidarity with the people of China.