New Delhi: China on Friday denied any delay in granting permission to a special flight to coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to deliver medical supplies and evacuate remaining Indians. The allegation comes in regards an Indian Air Force plane that was supposed to carry medical supplies for its nationals stuck in Wuhan, and then evacuate them. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Issues Fresh Lockdown Guidelines: How to Get E-pass For Interstate Travel? Step-by-step Guide Here
The announcement was made on February 17 that the Indian Air force will send its largest aircraft C-17 Globemaster to rescue the remaining Indians as well as citizens from neighbouring nations who were still stuck at Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic. Also Read - Madhya Pradesh Govt Cancels Class 10 Board Exams, Postpones Class 12 Exams | Details Here
Officials at the Indian mission announced a change in the date of evacuation claiming that the special flight has not lifted off yet as it still awaits clearance from China. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Intensifies Lockdown Norms: Essential Shops to Open Only For 4 Hours | Full List of Guidelines Here
Asked about the delay at a press briefing earlier today, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang denied saying talks were still going on between the two neighbours. China has previously assisted India to evacuate a large number of Indians from Wuhan and Hubei province, he said.
“The competent departments on the two sides are still in communication on the arrangement for the remaining 80 people that India plans to fly home. There is no such a thing as China delaying giving flight permissions,” he asserted.
Remarkably, India’s national carrier Air India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan in two separate flights.
On Thursday evening, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that there is no ban on travel to or from China in view of the coronavirus outbreak as of now. The announcement added that the capacity limitations and logistics for the relief flight were being adhered to. All those interested to return to their homeland have been asked to contact the Indian Embassy, the MEA stated.