The IAF plane takes medication to Wuhan, to bring back 120

NEW DELHI: A special flight by the Indian Air Force carrying around 15,000 kg of medical assistance with masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment departed Wednesday for Wuhan, China.

The same flight, a C17 transport plane, on its return on Thursday, will bring back approximately 120 people, 80 Indian citizens and 40 from foreign friendly countries.

The development followed China's approval to operate the flight that had been pending since February 13. Strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time, the Foreign Minister tweeted, while thanking the IAF and the Indian mission in Beijing for your efforts

The MEA said this assistance has been provided following the outbreak in China and China's request to provide supplies such as masks and medical equipment. PM Modi had written to the president Xi Jinping February 8 offering assistance to China in this hour of need as a gift. Medical supplies will help increase China's efforts to control the outbreak of this infection, he said.

The assistance sent is also a sign of friendship and solidarity from the people of India to the people of China, as the two countries celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year, the ministry added. The IAF flight will also bring back some Indian and foreign citizens from some of the neighboring countries of India who have requested assistance to travel to India in accordance with the PM Modi neighborhood policy.

India had previously accused China of deliberately delaying the approval of the flight. However, according to Chinese government sources, there was never any reason to panic since Indian citizens in Wuhan were very well taken care of.

The process certainly takes some time, with the aim of ensuring the relevant arrangements made safely and smoothly, reflecting the constructive attitude and humanitarian spirit of the Chinese side, a source said.