Maldives on Thursday evacuated the last two Maldivians in China's Wuhan City, the epicentre of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, with assistance from the Indian government.
The two individuals were transported to New Delhi aboard an Indian Air Force flight and will be brought back to Maldives following the 14-day quarantine period mandated by World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
According to local media outlet Mihaaru, the two individuals are officers of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) that were in China for a training programme.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid expressed gratitude to India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of External Affairs Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, and the Indian Ambassadors to China and Maldives, Vikram Misri and Sunjay Sudhir respectively, for their roles in arranging the evacuation.
He also thanked the Maldivian Embassy in China, the Indian Air Force and Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong.
While a total of nine Maldivians resided in Wuhan at the time of the outbreak, the government evacuated seven of them on February 2. After a 14-day quarantine period in India, the individuals were brought to Maldives on February 18.