India on Thursday said it can consider evacuating Pakistani students from the coronavirus-hit Hubei province “if such a situation arises” and resources are available as it clarified that Islamabad had made no request for it till now.

While India has evacuated 645 people from China’s Wuhan, Pakistan has left its students in the coronavirus-hit city. Hundreds of stranded Pakistani students in Wuhan have made desperate pleas to the Imran Khan government to evacuate them from China’s worst-affected Hubei province, urging his administration to take a leaf out of India’s book.

Asked about the pleas by the Pakistani students and whether India could help in their evacuation, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “No such request has been received by us from the government of Pakistan. But if such a situation arises and keeping in mind the resources available, we can look into it.”

However, he did not clarify what would be the specific pre-conditions for considering the request.

India airlifted 654 people, including seven Maldivians, on Saturday and Sunday last week from Wuhan.

Watching the Indian students leave, the Pakistani students posted videos on social media asking their government to do the same.

In one of the videos, a Pakistani student while showing the Indian students boarding the bus to go to the airport, said while India was evacuating its citizens, the Pakistan government says “you live or die we will not evacuate or facilitate” their journey home.

“Shame on you Pakistan government. Learn from India how it takes care of its people,” he said in the video that went viral.

Pakistan has more than 28,000 students in China, including 500 in the worst-hit city of Wuhan.

China has praised Pakistan for resuming flights to the country, a day after it received special medical kits from Beijing to detect the deadly virus cases.

Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry has said that all 645 people evacuated from China, who were lodged at the quarantine facilities set up by the Army and Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in and around Delhi, have tested negative for coronavirus.

It said that as on February 6, 1,38,750 passengers from 1,265 flights had been screened for the nCoV illness but no new case has been detected.

India has so far reported three confirmed cases of nCoV from Kerala.

Three medical students studying at the Wuhan University, all natives of Kerala, who returned to India on their own recently and self-reported at a hospital in the state have tested positive for the respiratory virus.

“All 645 evacuees from Wuhan, China have tested negative for novel coronavirus,” the ministry said.

A total of 1,202 samples have been tested as of Thursday which includes the samples of 645 people lodged at the quarantine centres set up by the Army in Haryana’s Manesar and the ITBP in Chawla camp.

“All 645 people have tested negative. Samples of all these individuals will be re-tested on day 14 of the quarantine period,” it said.

(With PTI inputs) 

Courtesy : DNA

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