China to airlift citizens from India as COVID-19 cases rise


A shopekeeper checks the body temparature of a customer at the entrance of a store after the government eased a lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Siliguri on May 25, 2020 (Photo by DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP via Getty Images)
A shopekeeper checks the body temparature of a customer at the entrance of a store after the government eased a lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Siliguri on May 25, 2020 (Photo by DIPTENDU DUTTA/AFP via Getty Images)

CHINA will evacuate its citizens, including students, tourists and businessmen, from India who are facing ‘difficulties’ in the country and want to return home in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chinese embassy put out a notice on its website on Monday (25), asking those wanting to return home to book tickets in special flights.

The move to evacuate its citizens comes in the wake of India emerging as the 10th worst-hit country by the deadly virus, which has infected nearly 140,000 people in India.

The coronavirus, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December, has spread to over 190 countries, infecting over 5.4 million people and taking lives of 340,000. India had evacuated around 700 Indians from Wuhan in February.

The notice by the Chinese embassy said the people opting to return home will have to accept all quarantine and epidemic prevention arrangements during the flight as well as after entering China.

The notice in Mandarin said people treated for the COVID-19 infection or having symptom of the infection like fever and cough in the last 14 days should not take the special flights.

“Through the unified arrangement of the ministry of foreign affairs and relevant departments, the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in India will assist international students in India, tourists, temporary business visitors who have difficulties and are in urgent need to take a temporary flight back home to China,” according to the notice.

The notice said the cost of flight ticket and quarantine in China will have to be borne by the evacuees.

China’s decision to evacuate its citizens from India also comes at a time when troops of both the countries are locked in a tense standoff in the disputed areas of Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley along the line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh for over two weeks.