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Maldivians stranded in Wuhan flown to New Delhi

Mariyam Malsa
02 February 2020, MVT 09:28
Indian passengers in China having their temperature taken before they board the Air India flight. PHOTO: ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL
Mariyam Malsa
02 February 2020, MVT 09:28

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of India, on Sunday, arranged the emergency transport of seven Maldivians in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

The seven students were brought to New Delhi aboard the Air India B747 flight after the Maldivian government lodged the request on humanitarian grounds.

As a precaution, the students will be quarantined at a facility located in Manesar, near Delhi, along with Indian nationals brought on the same flight for a stipulated period of time.

The Indian embassy and foreign ministry began cooperating on the effort during the previous week, with the evacuation conducted as soon as the Chinese government granted approval. The Maldivian Embassy in Beijing was in close contact with the Indian Embassy ahead of evacuation.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid expressed gratitude to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India's Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar as well as Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri and Indian Ambassador to Maldives Sujay Sudhir for their roles in arranging the evacuation.

The minister also extended thanks to the China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, authorities in Hubei province and Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong.

The foreign ministry highlighted that the timely evacuation once again highlighted India's capabilities to serve as a first responder during emergencies faced by the Maldivian people.

It also underscores longstanding bilateral ties and the synergy between India's Neighbourhood First policy and Maldives' India First policy, the ministry added.

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