NEW DELHI/BEIJING :
India's evacuation of its nationals who were stranded in China's Wuhan, the epicentre of novel coronavirus epidemic, was completed on Sunday with around 650 people brought back in two phases.
Official sources said as of now the evacuation process is "complete" even as six Indians down with fever and other flu-like symptoms could not board the second Air India flight on Sunday.
"We had planned to send two flights of Boeing 747 and they have as per the plan evacuated around 650 Indians on two consecutive days. However, six people had to be left behind because the consent forms which all the evacuees signed beforehand, explicitly required everyone to get a medical clearance after a basic screening," an official told IANS.
Wuhan city of Hubei province in central China with 11 million population has been placed under a lockdown, since the outbreak of the 2019-nCoV. There is no official figure of Indians living in Wuhan where over 300 people have died and over 14,000 are infected due to the virus.
However, the government had shared consent forms with several Indian groups online and required them to sign conditional evacuation. Apart from a mandatory quarantine on their arrival in India, the government had mentioned that evacuation of an individual could be rejected on the basis of a preliminary medical examination.
Official sources in Beijing said that some Indians on their own refused to return to India. "Some students didn't want to waste their time and resources in going back and forth and suffer on account of their studies. Others were too fearful of catching the coronavirus infection during the evacuation process," a source said.
In New Delhi, sources said, the government will closely monitor the outbreak of the virus which has already spread to all other provinces of China. As per rough estimates, around 50,000 Indians live in China, with many of them studying medicine.