Coronavirus: Pakistan Won't Airlift Its People From Virus-Hit China In "Larger Interest"

A senior official of the Imran Khan government said on Saturday that it is in the "interest of our loved ones" that they remain in China.

Coronavirus: Pakistan Won't Airlift Its People From Virus-Hit China In 'Larger Interest'

The Chinese government has contained this epidemic in Wuhan city, the Pak official said (File)

Highlights

  • Coronavirus outbreak has killed over 300 people in China
  • Around 500 Pakistanis, mostly students, live in China's Wuhan city
  • Wuhan is the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak
Islamabad:

Pakistan will not airlift its citizens stranded in Wuhan, the Chinese city worst hit by the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 300 people in the country. A senior official of the Imran Khan government said on Saturday that it is in the "interest of our loved ones" that they remain in China. The remark comes even as several Pakistani citizens posted videos on social media, pleading their government to evacuate them.

"We believe it's in the interest of our loved ones in China (to stay there). It's in the larger interest of the region, the world, and the country that we don't evacuate them now," The Express Tribune quoted Zafar Mirza, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, as saying.

"Right now the Chinese government has contained this epidemic in Wuhan city. If we act irresponsibly and start evacuating people from there, this epidemic will spread all over the world like wildfire," Mr Mirza added.

Mr Mirza's comment came a day after he admitted that four Pakistani students have tested positive for the deadly virus, news agency IANS reported.

Around 500 Pakistanis, mostly students, live in Wuhan, a city of 11 million that has been shutdown after the outbreak. Several students have made fervent appeal to the Imran Khan government to airlift them, IANS reported.

"I am a Pakistani, and my name is Nadeem Abaz. I am making this video from the Chinese City of Wuhan, where more than 500 Pakistanis are stuck. Four students in my university were detected with Coronavirus and they are in a serious condition in hospitals. So, we had asked the Pakistani government and the Embassy to help us or evacuate us from here because the situation getting worse day by day," IANS reported quoting a student who purportedly posted a video on social media.

The Indian government has airlifted over 600 citizens who were stranded in China. They have been quarantined in a specially-prepared facility in Manesar near Delhi. Two Indian students have been tested positive for Novel Coronavirus so far.

With inputs from IANS