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Maldives thanks India for evacuating its seven citizens from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

Maldives thanks India for evacuating its seven citizens from coronavirus-hit Wuhan
February 03
11:28 2020

MALE: Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Sunday thanked India for expeditiously evacuating seven Maldivians from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, saying it was an example of the “outstanding” friendship and camaraderie between the two countries.

India has evacuated 647 Indians and seven Maldivian citizens by special flights from Wuhan city. Air India’s jumbo B747 made two flights to Wuhan – the ground zero of the coronavirus epidemic. In the first flight on Saturday, 324 Indians were evacuated and on Sunday another 323 Indians and seven Maldivian citizens were flown back.

Expressing his gratitude to India, President Solih tweeted, “My thanks and gratitude to PM @narendramodi, EM @DrSJaishankar and the Government of India for expeditiously evacuating the 7 Maldivians residing in Wuhan, China. This gesture is a fine example of the outstanding friendship and camaraderie between our two countries.”

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid also expressed his “deep gratitude” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar for the evacuation of Maldivian citizens. He also thanked India’s Ambassador to the Maldives Sunjay Sudhir and Indian envoy to China Vikram Misri.

The Indian Embassy in Maldives tweeted that the action “reflects historic ties of kinship between us, &, the synergy between #NeighbourhoodFirst & #IndiaFirst policies.” The evacuated Indians and Maldivians have been quarantined for 14 days in special camps.

Air India has done such evacuations earlier also from countries such as Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Nepal. The virus that emerged in early December and traced to a market in Wuhan that sold wild animals has spread to 25 countries and has killed 305 people and infected over 14,000 others.

The Philippines on Sunday reported the first death outside China. Several countries have evacuated their nationals from Wuhan by sending special aircraft. PTI

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