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February 1, 2020

China doing all for safety, health of Pak students

Top Story

February 1, 2020

ISLAMABAD: China reached out to Pakistan on Friday and asserted that its government was doing everything to ensure the safety, health and well-being of Pakistani students and their familiespresently in Wuhan, where there is a lockdown in face of the Coronavirus.

Pakistan has offered to send a field hospital and doctors to China to assist the medical teams there, and China thanked Pakistan for the assistance it was rendering to help China deal with the outbreak of the virus.

“These Pakistani students are being treated like our own”, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, told his counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi on telephone. State Councilor Wang Yi further said that China was taking effective, speedy, and urgent measures to contain the Coronavirus.

“The global community has recognised those efforts, and the Director General of World Health Organisation has expressed full confidence in China’s abilities and efforts to contain the virus”, Wang Yi told Pakistan’s Foreign Minister.

According to the Foreign Office, Qureshi thanked the Chinese authorities who he said has taken immense pains to help the Pakistani students in Wuhan and hoped that Beijing will continue to take best possible measures for the protection of Pakistani nationals in China.

Independent reports quoting the Pakistani students and families speak of lack of food and other commodities, panic amongst them and requests for quick repatriation.

Also there are appeals through videos by nearly 150 Pakistani nationals who are waiting at Xinjiang airport for several days, many with expired visas as flights to Pakistan have been cancelled.

Pakistan has decided not to repatriate its citizens citing recommendations of the World Health Organisation. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said on Thursday, “"We believe that right now, it is in the interest of our loved ones in China, it is in the larger interest of the region, world, country that we don't evacuate them now. This is what the World Health Organisation is saying, this is China's policy and this is our policy as well. We stand by China in full solidarity.”

Meanwhile, countries with stronger health structures like US, UK, Japan, Australia and India have started the process of repatriation with quarantines for its citizens. During the telephone conversation, Wang Li also thanked Pakistan for the offer of sending a field hospital and doctors for the people of China to assist them in the recovery efforts.

It was not clarified by Foreign Office, if China has accepted the offer and how doctors would travel since all flights to China have been cancelled.

“State Councilor Wang Yi, on behalf of Premier Li Keqiang, conveyed a special message of gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan underlining that Pakistan had shown tremendous support and solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time when they were fighting against spread of Coronavirus”, said the Foreign Office in a statement.

As deaths keep mounting from this deadly virus, Qureshi conveyed his condolences on the loss of precious lives due to the outbreak of coronavirus in China.

“The foreign minister lauded the relentless efforts undertaken by China for the containment of the virus and underscored that the government and the people of Pakistan stood firmly behind China in its resolute and momentous efforts to deal with the virus”, added the Foreign Office.