India has extended a helping hand to an ally as it battles the Coronoavirus outbreak.
7 Citizens of the Maldives have been transported from Wuhan to New Delhi on an Air India flight, the country’s Foreign Minister said. When these citizens arrive in India, they will be quarantined for period, before heading back home. The Maldives foreign minister thanked PM Modi and India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for the gesture. “Deep gratitude to PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Special thanks to Ambassadors @VikramMisri @sunjaysudhir and their teams,” he tweeted.
And praise for India’s efforts went right up the Maldives’ President himself. “My thanks and gratitude to PM @narendramodi, EM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of India for expeditiously evacuating the 7 Maldivians residing in Wuhan, China,” said Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. “This gesture is a fine example of the outstanding friendship and camaraderie between our two countries. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih,” he added.
India has moved quickly to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan in China, which is ground zero for the coronovirus outbreak. On Saturday, an Air India flight had airlifted 324 Indians from Wuhan, and kept them in a quarantine facility in Haryana. The flight today carried 323 Indians and 7 Maldivian nationals.
India’s alacrity in evacuating citizens from Maldives is in sharp contrast to the stance chosen by Pakistan, which has chosen to not bring back any citizens home. Pakistan’s President Arif Ali had defended the decision quoting a verse from the Quran. ” Prophet’s directions regarding disease outbreaks are a good guide even today,” he’d tweeeted. ““If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it, but if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place” (Bukhari & Muslim) Let us help those stuck there,” he’d added.
The decision hadn’t gone down particularly well with Pakistani students who’re stuck in China, who’d created a videos bashing their own government for their decision. “Nobody is paying attention to us, and nobody in the Pakistani government is helping us. All they tell us is to believe in Allah,” students in a Chinese university three hours away from Wuhan had said in a video.
Yesterday, a video of a Pakistani student watching Indian students being evacuated by the Indian embassy had gone viral. “Shame on you Pakistani government, learn something from India,” he’d said in the video.