Coronavirus outbreak: Contact embassy helpline, MEA tells Satara woman in Wuhan
Ashwini’s family in Satara reached out to senior Congressman and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who wrote to external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday asking him to take the necessary steps for helpUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 16:33 IST
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has advised a woman hailing from Satara to contact the control room numbers of the Indian embassy in China for assistance with evacuation in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and other regions.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar was reacting to the woman, Ashwini Avinash Patil’s appeal over social media for evacuation from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan city in China.
When told about this appeal which went viral on social media, Kumar said, “There are people there on the ground and the control centre is open 24x7,” adding that Patil should contact the control room number featured on the Indian Embassy’s Twitter handle.
Ashwini’s family in Satara reached out to senior Congressman and former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who wrote to external affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday asking him to take the necessary steps for help.
Chavan said he had spoken to Patil on Monday night and Tuesday morning, besides contacting the point person in the Indian Embassy at Beijing.
“Ashwini told me that they are facing shortage of food and potable water and so I have requested the officials over there to at least help them with that as a temporary relief and that the government must work on evacuating all Indians from the affected areas in and around Wuhan as soon as possible. In fact, I have also heard that there are young students who belong to poor families who are risking their lives and have decided to stay back as they cannot return to China once the situation returns to normal. At least two such students are from Latur,” Chavan told HT over the phone.
Last week, Patil appealed to the Indian government through a video posted on social media to evacuate her and several compatriots facing a similar situation.
Patil in her appeal said she had shifted to Wuhan in June 2019 and she could not board the first Air India flight as her passport was with the British embassy’s visa centre. She said she knew of other Indians seeking evacuation from Wuhan.
Speaking over the phone, Patil said her husband is Polish and she had come to China along with him in June to live there for the next 2-3 years. “My husband was evacuated by the government of Poland. I am in regular contact with the Indian Embassy and also with the Chinese officials through their hotline number, but there has been no concrete answer. We are surviving on whatever food is available with us,” said Ashwini.
Ashwini’s mother Amruta Patil said in a telephonic interview that they were in regular touch with her and the Indian government must evacuate her and other Indians soon.
“She is healthy and has showed no symptoms, but she is living among the affected and we cannot waste any more time. She is our only child,” Amruta Patil said.