Beijing, Dec 30 (PTI) Some Indians who tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Wuhan from New Delhi on a Vande Bharat Mission flight on October 30 are not able to return to Beijing even though they have, since then, tested negative after repeated quarantine periods.
Nineteen people tested positive for coronavirus in the Wuhan Vande Bharat flight, which was the last to have operated between the two countries.
The October 30th flight was the sixth flight operated by India in recent months and it was the first to land in Wuhan -- where the virus emerged in December last. In the flight, 277 Indians were flown into Wuhan and 157 people were flown to New Delhi.
While most of the 19 Indians were allowed to go to their respective cities following negative tests after their quarantine periods, three Beijing-bound families were unable to move towards the capital.
One family returned to India after failing to reach Beijing, while another family is stuck in Shanghai waiting for Beijing health authorities to unblock their passports in the health kit application, without which they will not be permitted to travel to the capital city.
The third family, which includes a child, continues to serve repeated quarantine periods in Wuhan even after they tested negative several times. Their additional quarantine period of 14 days is due to end on January 7 next year.
All foreigners and locals living in China need to install a government-maintained COVID-19 application on their mobile phones for travel within the country and within their respective cities. Other than the application, Beijing has special entry requirements.
The Indian Embassy has taken up their plight with the concerned authorities in Beijing but no action has been taken so far, officials here said.
When asked about their plight, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing on Wednesday that he was not aware of the situation and the issue should be with competent departments.
'I would like to tell you that the Chinese government attaches high importance to the safety and health of foreigners in China and will continue to give them all necessary assistance,' he said.
So far, the coronavirus has claimed 4,781 lives, along with 95,851 confirmed infections, in China. PTI KJV IND