AGENCIES, New Delhi: China is deliberately delaying grant of clearance for the evacuation flight, official sources said on Saturday. India had sent a proposal of sending an Indian Air Force flight to bring relief materials for coronavirus affected people in the neighbouring country and evacuate Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak.
India planned to send a C-17 military transport aircraft to Wuhan on February 20 but the flight could not take off as permission was not granted from China’s side. The plane was to carry a large consignment of medical supplies.
Sources said China continued to maintain that there was no delay in granting permission for the flight to go, but “inexplicably” the clearance has not been given.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended India’s solidarity to people and government of China in fighting against the deadly disease and offered to provide assistance to the country.
India put together relief materials after Modi’s commitment as part of India’s solidarity. The supplies were gloves, surgical masks, feeding pumps and defibrillators based on the requirements as indicated by the Chinese side.
“These supplies have been offered even as India faces tremendous shortage itself, given our ethos of helping others in their hour of need,” said a source aware of the issue.
India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan in two separate flights. According to estimate, over 100 Indians are still living in Wuhan.
Sources also claimed that flights from other countries are given clearance to operate by China, but in case of India they are delaying the permission.