Frantic Pakistani students in Wuhan, attacked by viruses, ask their government to follow the example of India to evacuate them
BEIJING: Hundreds of Pakistani students stranded in the city of Wuhan, hit by the coronavirus, have desperately asked the Imran Khan government to evacuate them from the most affected in China, urging its administration to take out a sheet from the Indian book.
India transported 654 people by plane, including seven Maldives, on Saturday and Sunday from Wuhan. Evacuated Indians would be monitored for any signs of infection for two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members. India also temporarily suspended electronic visa facilities for Chinese and foreign travelers residing in China in view of the rapid spread of the virus.
Pakistan's ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi, said Sunday that Pakistani students should not be evacuated from Wuhan, since medical facilities in his country did not meet the standards required to treat a diagnosed patient.
Hashmi's comments came a day after the special assistant to the prime minister of health, Zafar Mirza, said the government will not return its citizens despite multiple requests for immediate evacuation of students and their families.
Pakistani students stranded from Wuhan and Hubei Province made a desperate appeal to the government on social media to change their decision not to evacuate them for fear they could spread the virus in Pakistan .
Watching the Indian students leave, the Pakistan i students posted videos on social media asking their government to do the same.
In one of the videos, a Pakistan i student while showing the Indian students boarding the bus to go to the airport, said while India was evacuating its citizens, the Pakistan government says "you live or die we will not evacuate or facilitate" their journey home.
"Shame on you Pakistan government. Learn from India how it takes care of its people," he said in the video that went viral.
The pressure on Nepal by hundreds of its students studying in China to evacuate them is also increasing. It is reported that a Nepalese citizen tested positive for coronavirus. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan.
Pakistan has more than 28,000 students in China, including 500 in the worst-hit city of Wuhan.
Meanwhile, China has praised Pakistan for resuming flights to the country, a day after it received special medical kits from Beijing to detect the deadly virus cases.
Pakistan joined other world airlines on Friday in suspending flights to China over virus fears, raising eyebrows, considering Islamabad's all-weather ties with Beijing.
Pakistan however resumed the flights from Monday even as the death toll jumped to 361 with confirmed cases soaring to over 17,200 all over China.
Four Pakistan i students from Wuhan have reportedly contracted the virus.
Asked about Pakistan resuming flights, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters on Monday that Pakistan Prime Minister Khan highly commended China and firmly supported its efforts to fight against the coronavirus.
"They also appreciate China's assistance for Pakistan i citizens in China and express confidence in China winning this battle with the strength of its system. The Pakistan i people are standing firmly with their Chinese brethren," she said.
The coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the central province of Hubei in December, killed 361 with 57 deaths reported on Sunday, while the number of confirmed cases increased to 17,205.
The Philippines reported on Sunday the first death outside of China because of the epidemic that has spread to 25 countries, including India, the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia.
In China, almost all deaths have been reported in Hubei Province, the epicenter of the virus outbreak. The virus was declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 31.