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China 'deliberately delaying' grant of clearance for third evacuation flight from India

Beijing is yet to grant clearance to the third flight from New Delhi, which will carry relief supplies to the virus-hit nation and also bring back the remaining Indian nationals from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 2300 people in the East Asian country itself, informed sources told ANI on Saturday.

ANI | New Delhi | Updated: 22-02-2020 10:25 IST | Created: 22-02-2020 10:25 IST
China 'deliberately delaying' grant of clearance for third evacuation flight from India
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

Beijing is yet to grant clearance to the third flight from New Delhi, which will carry relief supplies to the virus-hit nation and also bring back the remaining Indian nationals from Wuhan, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 2300 people in the East Asian country itself, informed sources told ANI on Saturday. The Chinese side continues to maintain there is no delay (even on friday), the day the flight was supposed to go, but inexplicably the clearance has not been given.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently written to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing solidarity with the government and people of China in fighting the epidemic outbreak. India had then also offered to provide assistance to China in the wake of the concerned situation.

The government of India then put together relief supplies in pursuance of this commitment as a token of solidarity, particularly as this year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and China. These suppliers have been offered even as India, itself, faces tremendous shortages, the sources said. "It's in our culture to help others, especially in their hour of need," they stated.

The items that are being supplied include gloves, surgical masks feeding and infusion pumps and defibrillators based on the requirements as indicated by Beijing. Meanwhile, Indian nationals, who are stuck in Wuhan, are facing hardships due to the delay in the process and continue to wait for the evacuation flight. The delay in clearance is causing them tremendous mental anguish as the entire Hubei province is still under lockdown.

"There are relief and evacuation flights from other countries which are still going on, including by France. Why is the Chinese government delaying clearance for the relief flight? Are they not interested in Indian aid provided as our token of support? Why are they creating a roadblock in evacuating our nationals from Wuhan and putting them under hardship and mental agony? the sources questioned further." Earlier this month, India had evacuated over 650 of its citizens from Wuhan in two 747 Boeing Air India aircraft. Yet, an unknown number of Indians remain in the area and their number is being ascertained, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday. While 406 of these are being looked after at the quarantine ITBP facility, rest are at an Army center at Manesar in Haryana.

The Indian Embassy in Beijing estimates more than 50,000 Indian citizens to have been working in mainland China as of early 2019. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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