NEW DELHI: Despite virtually non-existent relations with its western neighbour, India would consider a request from Pakistan to evacuate its nationals from coronavirus-hit Wuhan if such a request was made, said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Responding to questions from journalists after several videos surfaced of Pakistani students asking India to evacuate them, the MEA spokesperson 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.”
Pakistan government said last week they would not evacuate their nationals from China both “in solidarity” with the Chinese people, as well as reposing full confidence in China’s handling of the pandemic. Pakistan’s ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi was quoted on Sunday as saying that their students should not be evacuated from the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan as “medical facilities in Pakistan do not meet the standards” required to treat a patient diagnosed with the coronavirus. However, in the past couple of days, Pakistani students have taken other flights to return to Pakistan but without the quarantine procedure that is being followed in other countries.
The MEA spokesperson also said that India has evacuated 647 Indians and 7 Maldivians from coronavirus-hit China. “It was a complex operation and we thank the government of China for their support and facilitation during this exercise,” the spokesperson said. He added that, in addition 10 other Indians have indicated that they want to come back from China, but were unable to clear the health screening process. “We are in regular contact with them and exploring all possibilities for their return,” Kumar said.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, normal visas and all existing e-visas from China that have been issued are no longer valid, he said. “Indian nationals have been advised to refrain from traveling to China. People travelling to China henceforth will be quarantined on return. Separately, travel to India from China on e-visa has been temporarily suspended. This applies to the holders of Chinese passports and applicants of other nationalities residing in the mainland of the People’s Republic of China.”


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