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India to evacuate nationals from China

India’s health ministry issued fresh appeals to enhance public awareness about the novel coronavirus on Tuesday
Tourists, wearing protective face masks, visit Taj Mahal in Agra on Tuesday.

G.S. Mudur   |   New Delhi   |   Published 28.01.20, 08:54 PM

India has decided to evacuate its nationals from China’s Hubei province and bolster nationwide preparedness by activating 10 additional virology laboratories to test any suspected samples for the novel coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday.

The external affairs ministry has requested the Chinese government to facilitate the evacuation of Indian nationals from Wuhan and the civil aviation ministry will make arrangements for evacuation after approval from Chinese authorities, the officials said.

“We have begun the process to prepare for evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising out of the (novel coronavirus) outbreak in Hubei province,” Raveesh Kumar, the external affairs spokesperson tweeted. “The embassy of India in Beijing is working out the logistics and is in touch with the Chinese government authorities and our nationals.”

India’s health ministry on Tuesday issued fresh appeals to enhance public awareness about the novel coronavirus and decided to activate 10 more laboratories to shorten the uncertainty and waiting periods associated with transporting all suspected samples to a single lab in Pune.

Health minister Harsh Vardhan used a Doordarshan channel to urge people with a travel history to China or who have had contact with someone returning from China to report to health authorities if they develop symptoms of coronavirus infection.

“Please help us so that we can help you,” Vardhan said. 

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