China has not yet granted clearance to India’s proposal of sending an Indian Air Force (IAF) flight to the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city to deliver medical supplies and evacuate remaining Indian citizens from there.
“China is deliberately delaying the grant of clearance for the evacuation flight,” a high-level source said.
As per reports, China on Friday stated that there was no delay in granting permission to the IAF’s flight.
India had planned to send a C-17 Globemaster military aircraft with a large consignment of medical supplies to Wuhan on Monday.
The C-17 Globemaster, which is one of the largest military aircraft of the IAF, can carry a large number of equipment and troops across long distances in all weather conditions.
Apart from providing medical supplies, India had planned to bring back its citizens that are still stuck in Wuhan, the epicenter of the massive outbreak.
“Indian nationals in Wuhan continue their long wait for the flight which will evacuate them to India. The delay is causing them and their family members in India tremendous mental anguish,” a media report quoted sources as saying.
They also claimed that relief and evacuation flights from other countries are allowed to operate by China but India has still not been granted permission.
India’s airline Air India had evacuated over 600 Indians from Wuhan earlier this month.
Meanwhile, a team of WHO experts would travel to Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, to investigate the disease outbreak, the global health body announced.
The 12-member team, which arrived in China on Monday, was initially designated to visit only Beijing, Guangdong and Sichuan provinces as the Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan was conspicuously absent from the list.
However, the team was finally given permission to visit Wuhan by the Chinese government.
The death toll in China due to coronavirus has gone up to 2,236 while the overall confirmed infection cases have climbed to 75,567, the country’s health officials said.