India to evacuate more citizens from China, 348 people released from quarantine
A total of 647 Indians and seven Maldivians brought back from Wuhan after the outbreak were kept at the two quarantine facilities.
All 248 people at an Army camp in Manesar and another batch of 100 at an ITBP facility, quarantined at these two places after being evacuated from coronavirus -hit Wuhan earlier this month, were discharged on Tuesday, officials said, even as more Indians will be brought back from China by an IAF aircraft.
The remaining people housed at the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) camp will be released by Wednesday morning, the officials
A total of 647 Indians and seven Maldivians were brought back from Wuhan on 1 and 2 February in two 747 Boeing Air India aircraft after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China and kept at the two quarantine facilities.
On Monday, a batch of about 200 people were discharged from the ITBP camp, which housed a total of 406 people, including seven Maldivians.
All 248 persons, mostly students, who were quarantined at the Army camp left for their homes after being declared fit on Tuesday.
"All of them have tested negative for the respiratory virus in the subsequent tests after the completion of the 14-day quarantine period," an official source said.
Military sources said India will send a C-17 military aircraft to Wuhan on February 20 to evacuate more Indians from Wuhan.
The C-17 Globemaster, the biggest military aircraft in the Air Force, will carry a large consignment of medical supplies to China and bring back more Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, the sources told PTI.
Last week, India had announced that it will send medicines as well as other medical supplies to China.
As the inmates left the quarantine facility on Tuesday, they thanked the Indian Army for the arrangements made at the camp, particularly the food, and raised slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', sources said.
"Due to the fear of coronavirus spreading rapidly, we appealed the Indian embassy in China to rescue us. Our university also provided support to us. The documentation process took around eight days after which Indian Army evacuated us on 1 February on an Air India flight," said a student wearing a mask after being discharged.
So far 317 people out of total 406 have left the ITBP centre after being declared free of novel coronavirus by the doctors.
All those who were discharged have been provided with conveyance till airport, railway stations, or bus stands.
Among those who will leave the facility on Wednesday are a few families. All released persons were advised to remain self isolated for the next 14 days at their respective places, ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.
They were also advised the dos and don'ts during the period.
On Monday, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also visited the ITBP facility and interacted with the evacuees. India has so far reported three confirmed cases of the virus, all in Kerala. Two of the three medical students who had tested positive for novel coronavirus infection have now been discharged, Vardhan said on Monday.
The condition of the third one is stable, he said.
China's National Health Commission on Tuesday said the death toll due to the outbreak has climbed to 1,868 while the total number of confirmed cases jumped to 72,436.
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