'Please take us back': Indians who were stopped from leaving China plead to govt

654 people have been evacuated by the Indian government, but a few who had fever were stopped by Chinese officials.
'Please take us back': Indians who were stopped from leaving China plead to govt
'Please take us back': Indians who were stopped from leaving China plead to govt
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Annem Jyothi, a 20-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh, was eager to return to India from China’s Wuhan on Saturday. While most of her colleagues made it on to the first Air India flight, which airlifted 324 Indians out of the coronavirus-hit Wuhan city, Jyothi was one of the six people who were asked to stay back by the Chinese immigration officials. Ten Indians in total have been reportedly stopped from returning to India, due to their high body temperature levels. 

On Sunday, India airlifted the second batch of 323 stranded Indians and seven Maldivian citizens from China, taking the total number of people evacuated to 654, according to reports. 

“After being asked to stay back on Saturday, the Indian embassy officials told us that we can take the second flight on Sunday. But the next day, they called and informed us that we will not be able to take the second flight either, as Chinese officials have not agreed to allow us to board the flight because of the previous day’s body check,” Jyothi told TNM over the phone from China. 

In a video, Jyothi has requested the Indian government to help evacuate those who were left behind. “We request our government to take us back to India. We are ready to prove that we don’t have any symptoms, and that we are safe and healthy,” she says in the video. 

Stating that Chinese immigration officials were stopping anyone with a body temperature above 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from boarding the flight, Jyothi claimed that her temperature had been around 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 degrees Fahrenheit). “The Chinese officials didn’t assure or deny that we are infected by the virus. We are ready to prove we don’t have any symptoms,” she said. 

Jyothi was in Wuhan for training for a job with an optoelectronics company, and was set to leave along with her colleagues. However, she and another colleague from Andhra Pradesh were left behind, along with four other Indians from other states and universities in Wuhan. Four more were left behind in the second batch of Indians who were airlifted on Sunday. 

Her mother and her fiance, who are in her hometown of Ernapadu in Kurnool district, are anxious about her return. 

PTI reported that those people who were stopped from boarding the flights to India may be quarantined to undergo tests to determine whether they have symptoms of the coronavirus.  Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri reportedly said that there may still be about 100 Indians remaining in the Hubei province, for which Wuhan is the provincial capital.

Ahead of the evacuation operation, the Indian Embassy had informed the Indians that they have to undergo health tests before the flight and undergo 14-day quarantine after reaching India in special camps.

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