Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the outbreak of coronavirus which has killed at least 80 people in China, demanding that the Indians stranded in Wuhan must be rescued. The Chinese government has quarantined the city of 11 million people in which hundreds of Indians, mostly students, reside.
"I am sharing the concern of Kerala on the situation which has arisen in Wuhan province of People's Republic of China following the outbreak of corona virus. I have already written to External Affairs Minister on 24.01.2020 requesting steps to have a comprehensive assessment of the emerging situation and to provide necessary assistance to the people of Indian origin most of whom are students of Wuhan University," he wrote in the letter.
Stressing on airlifting the stranded Indians, Mr Vijayan said the situation in Wuhan has got worse.
"It may be appropriate to consider operating a special flight to a nearby functional airport and airlift the Indians stranded there and bring them back to India," he added.
Mr Vijayan also offered professional medical assistance from Kerala, for those who will be airlifted to India and are suspected to be infected by the virus.
The virus has affected 1,423 people in China so far. The Indian authorities have been screening passengers coming from China and other countries. Over 29,700 passengers were screened till Sunday at seven identified airports in the country but no positive case was detected, the Union Health ministry has said.
In Kerala, around 7 people have been put under observation in isolation wards in different districts after they returned from China- all of them showed symptoms of fever, cough and anxiety. Around 280 passengers returning from affected countries have been allowed to leave; they have been advised to remain in isolation within their homes.