China to evacuate citizens from India amid pandemic, rising border tension
China is planning to evacuate its citizens from India amid the spreading Covid-19 pandemic in the country, a notice issued by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi said on Monday.
The notice, published on the embassy website said that students, tourists and businessmen who have been stranded in India will be allowed to fly back to China on special flights.
The number of Chinese citizens currently studying or staying and working in India wasn’t immediately available.
Beijing has asked its citizens willing to return to China to register by the morning of May 27.
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It includes Chinese citizens who are in India to practice yoga or had come to India for the Buddhist religious circuit pilgrimage.
It did not specify when or from where the special flights would take off.
The evacuation notice also comes in the backdrop of rising tension between India and China along the disputed boundary between the two countries.
The notice put out in Mandarin on Monday morning said those taking the flights will have to pay for the tickets and for their 14-day quarantine once they land in China.
“Under the unified arrangement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant departments, the Chinese embassy and Consulates in India will assist students, tourists, and temporary businessmen in India who have difficulties and are in urgent need of returning home to take temporary flights back to China,” the notice said.
The notice expressly forbade those who have been diagnosed with or suspected to have Covid-19 or those who had fever and cough symptoms for 14 days not to take the flights.
Close contacts of Covid-19 patients or whose body temperature exceeds 37.3 degrees centigrade will also not be allowed to board.
The applicants have been warned to not hide their medical history.
“Once a passenger who conceals his illness and contact history or finds that he has taken antipyretics and other inhibitory drugs during quarantine inspection is found, he will be held liable for the crime of endangering public safety,” the notice said.
India was among the countries to evacuate more than 700 citizens and foreign nationals from the central Chinese province of Hubei, worst-hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, and its capital, Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged late last year in February.
The second batch of evacuation in late February had been delayed after the Chinese authorities are said to have delayed the required clearances.