Mon, 24 Feb 2020

New Delhi [India], Jan 26 (ANI): No Indian in Wuhan or the Hubei province in China has been found to be infected by the new strain of the deadly SARS-like virus that is spreading fast worldwide, the government said here on Sunday, adding that the Indian Embassy in Beijing is in constantly in touch with the Chinese authorities.

The new coronavirus has claimed at least 56 lives so far.

"@EOIBeijing is continuing to maintain close contact with our nationals in Wuhan city and elsewhere in Hubei, especially the student community," Ministry of External affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Twitter.

"We are also closely coordinating with Chinese authorities. As of now, we understand that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak and that food and water supplies are available to them," he added in the Twitter thread.

The spokesperson further said that the Embassy in Beijing has opened three hotline numbers, operational 24x7, to respond to concerns of those affected by this situation. The numbers are 8618610952903, 8618612083629 and 8618612083617.

Kumar also said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is also closely monitoring the situation.

"Our Embassy in Beijing is constantly checking on the health and well-being of the Indians in China. Please follow @EOIBeijing for more updates on the situation," Jaishankar tweeted earlier in the day.

The virus that originated in Wuhan city of China in December last year and has since spread to various cities around the world. More than 50 people have died after developing pneumonia-like symptoms and around 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in China.

As a precautionary measure, China imposed quarantine and travel restrictions, affecting the movement of 56 million people in more than a dozen cities amid fears that the transmission rate will accelerate as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel for the Lunar New Year.

Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and seven Asian countries besides China.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has acknowledged that the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China.

The Indian embassy also issued an advisory for people travelling from China to India and asked people from Wuhan to monitor their health closely.

In a statement, the Indian Embassy listed out health measures while travelling from China, which includes avoiding contact with live animals and consumption of raw undercooked meats and wearing a mask. (ANI)

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