By Aarti Tikoo Singh
New Delhi/Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) All the Indian students stranded in Wuhan, the city which has been placed under a lockdown due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in central China, are safe and healthy.
Official sources told IANS that though over 500 Indian students study in Wuhan city’s medical colleges and universities, but most of them had left for home for the Chinese New Year holidays.
The Indian embassy in Beijing is constantly tracking the health status of over 40 students in Wuhan at the moment. After a case of one Indian teacher infected by the virus in China was reported last week, India issued an advisory against travel to Wuhan.
The Indian embassy in Beijing has called off Republic Day celebrations.
Following the panic triggered by 18 deaths due to 2019-nCoV, China shut down Wuhan city’s airport, railway stations, short distance ferries and long-distance coaches. Wuhan in Hubei province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, has a population of around 11 million people.
The death toll has now risen to 25, sources said. China has widened the lockdown, with travel restrictions in 10 cities affecting at least 20 million people.
Chinese health authorities on Friday said that 830 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by 2019-nCoV had been reported in 29 provincial-level regions and 1,072 suspected cases reported in 20 provincial-level regions.
China’s Finance Ministry has allocated $145 million to control the epidemic, local media reported.