New Delhi: An Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft carrying around 15 tonne of medical supplies including masks, gloves and equipment left Wednesday for the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan. The C-17 military aircraft will also evacuate back over 80 Indians and around 40 citizens from neighbouring countries, government sources said.
Last week, India accused China of deliberately delaying permission to send the aircraft while allowing other countries to operate flights from Wuhan to evacuate their citizens. China had rejected India’s charges.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the medical supplies will help augment China’s efforts to control the outbreak of coronavirus infection which was declared as a public health emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The assistance being sent today is also a mark of friendship and solidarity from the people of India towards the people of China as the two countries also celebrate 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said the assistance has been provided in the wake the coronavirus outbreak in China and a request by the country to provide supplies such as masks and medical equipment.
“The IAF flight will also bring back some Indian and foreign nationals from some of our neighbouring countries who have sought assistance in travelling to India in keeping with Prime Minister Modi’s neighbourhood first policy,” the MEA informed.
The flight will arrive back Thursday in India.