The government on Friday said it had offered to bring back people belonging to neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan where 80 Indian students are still remaining after evacuation of 647 Indians and seven Maldivians.
On February 1, 324 Indians were brought back from Wuhan by first Air India special flight, while another batch of 323 Indians and seven Maldivians were evacuated from the Chinese city on February 2 through a second special flight.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar informed Rajya Sabha that the time when the two flights were going, India had told all students and larger community in Wuhan that it was prepared not only to bring back Indians but also all the people of our neighbouring countries who want to come back.
"So, this was an offer which was made to all our neighbours. And, of these, the seven nationals of Maldives chose to avail the offer.
"But I would like the honourable members to know that the offer was made to everybody," he informed Rajya Sabha in response to queries if Pakistan had requested India to bring back its citizens.
Jaishankar further said there are about 80 Indian students who are still in the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan. This includes 10 students who had come to the airport when the flights were sent. But they were running fever and so the Chinese authorities, after screening, did not allow them to board the flight.
"About 70 odd people chose voluntarily to stay in Wuhan and not get evacuated in the two flights," the minister said.
Meanwhile, India has cancelled all visas issued to foreign nationals coming from China as it stepped up efforts to combat the spread of novel coronavirus after 150 passengers were identified with symptoms of the deadly virus and sent to isolation units.