India to send aircraft on February 26 to Wuhan to bring back its citizens after China gives clearance

Earlier, official sources had said that the neighbouring country was delaying clearance to the C-17 military transport aircraft which was to fly on February 20 to Wuhan.

Published: 24th February 2020 08:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2020 08:26 PM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus India

For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)


NEW DELHI: India is likely to send a military transport aircraft to the coronavirus-hit Wuhan on February 26 to deliver relief material and bring back more Indians following a clearance from China, Union Health Ministry officials said on Monday.

"As informed by the Ministry of External Affairs, departure of the Air Force flight to Wuhan is being planned for February 26 and the evacuees will arrive on February 27," the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, official sources had said that the neighbouring country was delaying clearance to the C-17 military transport aircraft which was to fly on February 20 to Wuhan, though Beijing had allowed fights from other countries to evacuate their nationals.

According to a health ministry official, China has now given clearance to the Indian military transport aircraft.

Official sources said Japan, Ukraine and France have been allowed to operate flights between February 16 and 20 but India's request had not been approved.

When contacted, a Chinese Embassy spokesperson had said there was no deliberate delay in grant of permission for the Indian flight to reach Wuhan.

The aircraft will carry a large consignment of medical supplies to China and bring back more Indians from Wuhan.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who undertook a review of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID19) management across the country with the senior officials of the Ministry, informed that at present the screening of passengers is being done in all 21 airports, 12 major and 65 non-major seaports and border crossings.

In all 4,48,449 passengers from 4,214 flights have been screened so far.

Also, as of now, 2,707 samples have been tested of which only three samples earlier had tested positive (Kerala) and all the three patients have been discharged from the hospitals.

They are now in home isolation.

In furtherance to the travel advisory issued earlier in the wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the government on Saturday advised citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Singapore.

Also, flight passengers coming to India from China, Hong Kong, Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Kathmandu, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia are being screened at 21 designated airports in the country for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

All Indian evacuees from Wuhan had tested negative for COVID19 and have gone back to their homes from the quarantine facilities.

Also, 23,259 persons were brought under community surveillance in 34 states and UTs through the Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP) network.

Regarding movement across Kartarpur border in Punjab, Vardhan was informed that in discussion with the Home Ministry, Health Ministry and Health Secretary, Punjab, special screening has been strengthened across the border and further necessary facilitation for masks to be worn by pilgrims is being initiated.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp