Plane leaves for Wuhan with 15,000 kg of medical supplies | India News
The same flight, a C17 transport aircraft, on its return on Thursday, will bring back approximately 120 people, 80 Indian nationals and 40 from friendly foreign countries.
The development followed China’s approval to operate the flight which had been pending since February 13. “Strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time,” tweeted foreign minister S Jaishankar, while thanking IAF and Indian mission in Beijing for their efforts.
Consignment (15 tonnes) of Indian medical relief for #COVID19 lands in Wuhan. Strong expression of our solidarity w… https://t.co/C8SPbKSM6g
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) 1582724514000
The MEA said that this assistance has been provided in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China and the request by China to provide supplies such as masks and medical equipment. “PM Modi had written to President Xi Jinping on 8 February offering assistance to China in this hour of need as a gift. The medical supplies will help augment China’s efforts to control the outbreak of this infection,” it said.
“The assistance being sent is also a mark of friendship and solidarity from the people of India towards the people of China as the two countries celebrate 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” the ministry added. The IAF flight will also bring back some Indian and foreign nationals from some of India’s neighbouring countries who have sought assistance in travelling to India “in keeping with PM Modi’s neighbourhood first policy”.
India had earlier accused China of deliberately delaying approval for the flight. According to Chinese government sources though, there was never any reason to panic as Indian nationals in Wuhan were very well looked after.
“The process certainly takes some time, with the aim to ensure relevant arrangements made safely and smoothly, reflecting the constructive attitude and humanitarian spirit from the Chinese side,” said a source.