Evacuation of Indians from Wuhan a logistical nightmare

The embassy is exploring all avenues to help the 80 Indians still in Hubei, said Indian envoy Misri

Beijing: India’s efforts to evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus-hit Hubei province and its capital Wuhan were a logistical nightmare since the entire operation had to be done in a region sealed from all sides, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said on Monday.

As the news of the outbreak began emerging in the middle of January, the Indian Embassy stepped up efforts to locate hundreds of Indians, mainly students, residing hundreds of kilometres apart in Hubei province and Wuhan – the epicentre of the virus outbreak, Misri said.

It was a logistical nightmare as data had to be collected about Indians stranded in the virus-hit areas while many left for home for the Chinese New Year holidays, he said.

India issued its first travel advisory on January 17 which was followed by more stringent measures including cancellation of visas for Chinese and foreigners travelled to China as the virus grew more virulent.

Misri said that about 80 Indians were still in Hubei and the embassy is in touch with them through e-mail, social media and phone calls.

“The embassy is exploring all avenues” He furthur added.

India lifts ban, clears medial gear exports to China

Beijing: India has cleared some consignments of medical gear placed by China to combat the deadly coronavirus after setting aside export bans on all kinds of personal protection equipment, Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri said.

On January 31, India banned exports of all personal protection equipment. However, some of the protective clothing and personal protection equipment like masks have been cleared for exports to China, Misri said. The embassy is in touch with the Chinese authorities about the assistance required. Misri said China has placed big orders to import some of the medical gear required.

Exports of some of the medical gear has been banned by India, considering India’s own requirements as it is also preparing to combat its major outbreak in the country.

A special screening committee of officials is meeting on daily bases to review the restrictions on the export of medical equipment, Misiri said.