With complete shutdown on transportation services imposed following the outbreak of Coronavirus in Wuhan City of the Hubei Province in China, many Indian students have been stranded in the region with no means to even find food. Families of the students back in India are desperately waiting for intervention from authorities.
According to a family in Bengaluru TNM spoke to, there are about 25 students from India who have been stuck in Wuhan City following the shutdown imposed there.
“They are running out of food. We are told that shops and transportation services in the area have been shut down. Whatever little food they had is almost over. They are also told not to come out of the places where they are staying,” Kumaran J, father of a sixth year medical student of Wuhan University, tells TNM.
According to Kumaran who hails from Bengaluru, the shutdown of transportation services from Wuhan City was declared unexpectedly on Wednesday while some of the students were trying to move out of Wuhan.
“My daughter along with her batch mates from India were standing in a queue to get boarding passes for the bullet train to get to another city. Just when she was fourth in the line from the counter, they closed issuing the passes and unfortunately four of them including her were not able to get into the train. The remaining 14 of them were able to get out of Wuhan and I heard they will be reaching India soon,” said Kumaran.
His daughter along with three others had to get back to where they were staying in Wuhan. “She is staying with another Indian student outside the university premises, while two others are still staying in the university hostel,” he says.
According to the family, the students were not informed to vacate hostels or to stock food. “Hearing about the virus outbreak from media they decided to come back to India,” says Kumaran.
Meanwhile, replying to the queries of some of the parents on social media, the Embassy of India in Beijing replied that the officials are in touch with the stranded students in Wuhan.
“Mission is in touch with Indians in Wuhan and relevant Chinese authorities. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. We have also started hotlines for those who wish to get in touch with the embassy,” official handle of Embassy of India in Beijing tweeted as a reply to the query of the parents on Thursday evening.
It also stated that the Embassy is in touch with officials from China and that they have assured all the necessary help required for the Indians. “Government run e-commerce services and super markets,including food delivery will remain operational in Wuhan,” it said.
The embassy has also started two hotline services as part of aiding Indians stranded in the region, the numbers are: +8618612083629 and +8618612083617.
It was last December that multiple cases of pneumonia were reported from Wuhan City. Days later in January, it was declared that the pneumonia was caused by a new strain of Coronavirus - 2019-NCoV (Wuhan).