India finds it hard to assess number of citizens stuck in Wuhan

New Delhi/Beijing, Jan 27, 2020-

India is finding it hard to assess the exact number of Indians stranded in the central China’s Wuhan city which has been placed under a lockdown, following the outbreak of the contagious novel coronavirus epidemic.

The death toll in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, due to the 2019-nCoV has risen to 80 and around 3,000 people have tested positive for the virus and around 6,000 people are suspected to be infected.

Though over 500 Indian students were studying in colleges and universities in Wuhan, official sources said, most of them had departed for home before the outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) for Chinese new year holidays.

The Chinese New Year was on January 25, and the holidays had started a week early. The holidays have now been extended following the epidemic.

Official sources said the embassy in Beijing has been in touch with 45 Indian students stuck in Wuhan but wasn’t able to determine the overall figure of Indians living in the city.

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“It is difficult to ascertain because usually not all Indians there would register with the consulate. Nor would they keep the consulate informed if they were moving out,” an official in the ministry of external affairs told IANS.

Wuhan’s all transport services have been suspended and its 11 million inhabitants prohibited from venturing out of their homes.

Chinese health authorities on Monday confirmed 2,744 cases of 2019-nCoV infections. 461 patients were critical on Sunday, official media in Beijing reported. In last 24 hours, 25 deaths in Hubei and around 800 new cases were confirmed, the National High Commission said.

As many as 32,799 close contacts have been traced, the commission said, adding that of them, 30,453 were under medical observation while 583 were discharged on Sunday.

A total of 17 confirmed cases have been reported in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan in China.

In the rest of the world, 44 cases have been confirmed. Thailand has reported seven cases of infection while Japan, Republic of Korea, the US, France, Malaysia have reported three cases each.   (Agency)

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