A young woman from Andhra Pradesh's Kurnool who is due to be married this month but is stranded in China amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, made an emotional appeal for help in a video that went viral on Sunday. Annem Jyothi, who was due to be evacuated in the first batch of Indians flown out by Air India last week, was left behind on suspicion of infection - she had a slight fever. In her video she claims the doctors aboard the special flight that brought back 324 Indians told her she would be allowed on the next flight, but she was not allowed to board that either.
Ms Jyothi has requested the centre for aid in returning home from Wuhan in China - the epicentre of the outbreak - and is ready to undergo medical tests to prove she is not infected.
"My colleagues (58 members) and I were supposed to take the first flight out of Wuhan to go home. But two of us (the other person is Satya Sai Krishna, according to news agency IANS) had high body temperatures... we were stopped from taking the first flight. We were told you can take the next one," Ms Jyothi, believed to be a trainee engineer with TCL, said in her video.
"(But) in the afternoon we got a phone call and were told you can't even take the second flight because you have fever. The Chinese (authorities) haven't confirmed or denied we have the virus, but we are ready to prove we are healthy," she added.
In the video Ms Jyothi explains that her body temperature was only elevated by a few degrees, something she attributed to increased physical activity or, more likely, the stress of the situation.
"My temperature is stable now... we have no symptoms. Request government to bring us back home... we are willing to be tested to show we have no symptoms," she said.
Ms Jyothi's mother, Prameela, has also asked the government to do something to bring her daughter, who is to marry a Bengaluru-based chartered accountant, back home.
On January 31 a specially-prepped Air India jumbo jet flew the first batch of non-infected Indian citizens out of China; they have been taken to quarantine centres like the one in Manesar near Delhi. On Sunday a second flight - the one Ms Jyothi was told she could board - brought 324 more Indians back.
Both flights were operated by the same crew and included five doctors from Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, who had been given express orders to leave behind anyone who displayed symptoms, including an elevated body temperature.
A total of 10 Indians, including Anand Jyothi, were left behind after the two Air India flights after they were found to be running a fever.
The coronavirus outbreak, for which the World Health Organisation (WHO), last week declared a global health emergency, has killed over 360 people in China and, yesterday, the Philippines reported the first death outside China.
In India there are three confirmed cases of the virus - all in Kerala.
Airports are actively screening passengers flying in from outside India; Hyderabad's Shamshabad Airport is also checking those from Thailand and Singapore.
The Indian government, on Sunday, temporarily suspended issue of e-visas for Chinese nationals and foreigners residing in the country.
The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS, which killed nearly 800 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03. Scientists hope to be testing vaccines in three months; China is testing the HIV drug Aluvia as a treatment.