About 45 Indian medical students at Jianghan University School of Medicine in Wuhan, who are stranded in their hostels after the novel coronavirus outbreak, are seeking immediate help from Indian authorities. The outbreak has already killed over 80 people in China.
Vishal P, a third-year student, told The Indian Express that they are surviving on limited provisions as the canteens have shut down. He said 45-odd Indian students are waiting for help from the embassy. “The problems started on January 1 with the detection of the first case. Authorities imposed a lockdown in the city last Thursday. Many students I know who are from the US, France, Jordan and Sudan have left China on chartered flights arranged by their countries. We are yet to get a solid reply from the embassy even after we spoke to them and sent many alerts,” he said.
“Whenever we call them, they reply they are in a meeting. They keep asking us to take precautions while we expect them to help us with a flight back. Only Indian students and a few African and Pakistani students are left in the hostel. All other foreign students have been relocated by their embassies,” he said.
A student from Rajasthan said they are “vulnerable” because the main hospitals treating the novel coronavirus are close to their campus.
Another student, Krishna Murthy from Chennai, said they had to visit the local market on Sunday after they ran out of food provisions. “Only one of the four canteens in the hostel is currently functional… we had to get provisions and cook. We totally understand the strict restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities. But we hope Indian authorities take immediate steps to rescue us like other countries did for their students,” he said.
Murthy said their classes were suspended on January 10 for holidays. “Out of some 75 Indian students, only few went home. No cases have been reported from our university, but we are vulnerable as we have to move out, visit markets to buy vegetables and other provisions at least once a week,” he said.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing on Monday issued an alert, seeking information about Indians facing shortage of food, water and other essentials. “…provide us with the exact location so that the Embassy in Beijing could work with the Chinese authorities to ensure that such essential supplies are sustained,” said a statement from the embassy.
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