'The neighborhood first,' says Jaishankar after an AI flight brings 7 Maldives from Wuhan

NEW DELHI: Seven Maldives were aboard the special Indian air flight that brought 323 Indian citizens from the city of Coronavirus in China. Foreign Minister Dr. S Jaishankar said the decision to bring the Maldives back was the result of India's first neighborhood policy.

The news was confirmed by Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid on Sunday morning. Shahid conveyed his deep gratitude to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chancellor Dr. S Jaishankar.

"Seven Maldivians in Wuhan are on their way to Delhi on a special Indian air flight. Upon arrival they will be housed in Delhi for a period of quarantine," he tweeted.

Shahid also thanked the Indian ambassador to China, the diplomat Sunjay Sudhir, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Zhang Lizhong, the Maldives Ambassador to India Aishah Didi and the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Shortly after the landing of the Indian air flight from Wuhan, foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar confirmed the news on Twitter using the hashtag "Neighbourhood First".

"Seven Maldivians brought back with 323 Indians from Wuhan on the second Indian air flight today. #NeighbourhoodFirst at work again," he tweeted.

This is the second Indian air flight which has been sent to evacuate Indians from Wuhan.

On Saturday morning, an Indian air special flight carrying 324 Indians — who were evacuated from Wuhan — landed in the national capital.

The death toll in China due to the deadly virus rose to 304 on Sunday, according to reports.