China has defended the Pakistan government after Islamabad decided not to evacuate its citizens from the coronavirus infected city of Wuhan despite their frantic appeals, saying it has taken “effective measures” to answer to the worries of the stranded foreign nationals.
Hundreds of Pakistani students are stranded in Wuhan and some of the students have said that they feel abandoned by their government which is sacrificing them in order to maintain a strong relationship with China.
While countries like India, the US, Sri Lanka, Japan, Bangladesh have evacuated their nationals from Wuhan, Pakistan fails to recognize its citizens’ pleas to airlift them.
Naghmana Hashmi, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, said that Pakistani students should not be evacuated from Wuhan as the facilities back at Pakistan do not meet the Chinese standards to treat a patient infected with the coronavirus.
Pakistani students stranded in Wuhan have been fervently tweeting regularly and appealing to their government to evacuate them from Wuhan and have even requested arch-foes India to airlift them from the disaster-hit city.
When asked about China’s reaction to the dilemma of Pakistani students, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that China ascribes great importance to the health and safety of all foreign nationals in epidemic hit city.
“We have taken effective measures to timely respond to their concerns and requests. Chief of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also stressed many times that flying out in a rush is not recommended, the best way being stay put and enhancing self-protection,” Geng said.
The complete Hubei province has been under lockdown since January 23 as a measure to contain the spread of the deadly virus. The death toll so far has gone past 1300 while the established cases of coronavirus have soared to over 42,600, Chinese health officials stated.
W.H.O also stressed numerous times that it does not endorse imposing travel and trade restrictions on China. As some countries have taken such excessive steps as suspending flights, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) has also issued bulletins and encouraged all countries to follow WHO recommendations.
He also praised Pakistan’s resolution stating full solidarity and support to China in battling with coronavirus.
“China and Pakistan are iron-clad friends and all-weather strategic cooperative partners with a tradition of mutual assistance,” Geng said. Pakistan’s Ambassador Hashmi told that there were over 1,000 Pakistani students in Hubei province. Of which 729 were in the city of Wuhan.
All citizens are fine and healthy and nobody has been affected by the virus. She asked them to stay firm and asked to have faith and to be patient. China on Monday said the SARS-like coronavirus outbreak infected 27 foreign nationals in China and two of whom from America and Japan have died.
While China has not given the full particulars of the foreign nationals who contracted the virus, reports have indicated that four Pakistanis were being treated form the coronavirus attack.