An Indian couple from Uttar Pradesh, stuck in China's Wuhan city where coronavirus epidemic broke out over a month ago, has sought central government's help to arrange their return to the country. The outbreak, which has claimed over 1,700 people in China, has spread to more than 25 countries across the world in the last few weeks.
Ashish Yadav, an associate professor at the Wuhan Textile University and his wife Neha, a PhD scholar, could not be evacuated earlier this month on Air India flights sent by the centre to Wuhan because of Neha's surgery.
The couple has sent videos from their apartment, describing their despair and making appeals for help. "Namaste, my name is Ashish Yadav and this is my wife Neha Yadav. I am an associate professor in the Wuhan Textile University. I appeal to the Prime Minister to evacuate us from here soonest," says Ashish in a clip shared with NDTV .
His wife Neha adds, "Our parents are very worried I would request that we should be evacuated soonest."
In the two-minute video shot by Ashish from the balcony of his apartment on Sunday afternoon, the professor describes how the couple is running out of supplies.
"You can see the weather is very bad today. There is heavy rain and light snowfall since yesterday afternoon. There is no one in our building. Yesterday, I had just a few empty bottles of water (he shows the bottles) and I had appealed for some water to be given and so today (camera pans to new water bottles), I have been sent some water and this food by the authorities here. We have rations only for a few days so I again appeal to the Indian government to evacuate us soonest," he says.
In another video shot from the couple's apartment balcony on Saturday, Ashish explains how Wuhan has turned into a "ghost town". "There is nothing here. This is the university area. Boys and girls used to live here... but there is no one here. Even in our apartment, there is no one."
"You can see I have no food left. This packet is empty," he says, pointing to food packers. "I only have one bottle of water left. Look at our fridge, it has only got a few vegetables... that's our last hope now," Mr Yadav says in the clip.
In a series of tweets, Foreign Ministry on Monday said a relief flight to Wuhan from India later this week will bring back Indians wishing to return. The embassy has appealed all those wishing to board this flight to get in touch with them.
GoI will send a consignment of medical supplies on a relief flight to Wuhan later this week to support China to fight the COVID-19 epidemic. On its return, the flight will have limited capacity to take on board Indians wishing to return to India from Wuhan/Hubei.(1/3) @MEAIndia— India in China (@EOIBeijing) February 17, 2020
Earlier this month, over 600 Indians were evacuated from coronavirus-hit Wuhan.