Hope India will review coronavirus epidemic objectively: China

NEW DELHI, Feb 23: China on Monday expressed hope that India would review the situation arising out of the coronavirus epidemic in the country in an “objective and rational” manner and resume bilateral trade and movement of people.
The remarks by Chinese Embassy spokesperson Ji Rong came following claims by Chinese charity organizations and certain medical institutes that New Delhi has restricted export of medical products to China following the coronavirus epidemic in that country.
Rong said the World Health Organization has repeatedly opposed any travel and trade restrictions on China following the coronavirus outbreak, and that all parties should follow the recommendations by the global body.
The coronavirus death toll in China has gone up to over 2,442, while the confirmed cases rose to 76,936, according to Chinese health officials.
“It is hoped that the Indian side could review the epidemic situation in an objective, rational and calm manner, handle with China’s much-needed items in a cooperative and constructive way, and resume normal personnel exchanges and trade between our two countries as soon as possible,” Rong said.
There was no immediate reaction from the government.
Last week, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong urged India to review restrictions on trade and movement of people.
Almost all Indian airlines have stopped flights to China while the government has cancelled all e-visas as well as normal visas issued to Chinese citizens.
On Saturday, government sources said that China was “deliberately delaying” permission for an Indian Air Force plane to coronavirus-hit Wuhan to supply relief materials and bring back more Indians from the city.
They said though flights from Japan, Ukraine and France were allowed to operate from Wuhan, India’s request was not heeded to so far.
India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, in two separate flights. According to estimates, over 100 Indians are still stuck in Wuhan. (PTI)