BEIJING: Over 250 Indians, mostly students, stuck in Hubei province, the epicentre of the deadly coronavirus, will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on their arrival in India, the Indian Embassy said on Tuesday as it started preparations to evacuate them.
The Indian nationals, mostly students, research scholars and professionals are working in Indian and international companies in central China's Hubei province for which Wuhan is the capital.
China has reported 24 more deaths from coronavirus epidemic, taking the number of fatalities to 106 as the confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the outbreak stand at 4,515, the health authorities announced on Tuesday.
In a fresh communication to the stranded Indians, the Indian Embassy said, "Government of India has begun the process to prepare for evacuation of Indian nationals affected by the situation arising out of Corona-2019 virus outbreak in Hubei Province, China."
"Embassy of India, Beijing is in touch with the Chinese government authorities to work out date and logistics of the evacuation," it said.
"Please be informed that those availing of this option will have to undergo a mandatory 14 days' quarantine on arrival in India," it said.
Many of the stranded Indians have been representing to the Indian government to evacuate them at the earliest.
The Indian Embassy has opened three hotlines to help them and collect the details of the Indian nationals.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the government is planning to send a plane to Wuhan in China to evacuate Indians stuck there due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
"Further details regarding date and logistics of the evacuation will be communicated in due course. You are requested to be patient and wait for further updates and instructions," the communication said.
Thousands foreign nationals from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh besides large number of nationals from African countries were reportedly held up in the province.
Chinese officials on Monday held talks with diplomats of India and other countries to discuss the evacuation arrangements.
China has already permitted to evacuate US and various other countries which had Consulates in Wuhan.
Barring Tibet, all Chinese provinces have reported the virus cases, posing a major challenge for the health authorities to contain it.
Overseas confirmed cases have been reported in Thailand (7), Japan (3), South Korea (3), the United States (3), Vietnam (2), Singapore (4), Malaysia (3), Nepal (1), France (3), Australia (4) and Sri Lanka (1).