India officials on Thursday announced the first case of the deadly coronavirus in the country, after a patient in the southern state of Kerala tested positive. The virus originated in China and has so far killed 170. “The patient was a student at Wuhan University in China. The patient is stable and in isolation at a hospital,’’ India’s government said in a statement.
A senior Indian government official said bringing Indian nationals from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus was not the best option due to the risk of infection but increased pressure from the citizens. The official added that most of the nationals are students and their parents had forced them to keep an aircraft on standby.
This week, India readied a state-carrier airplane to travel to Wuhan however was waiting for a nod from Chinese authorities who were trying to sequence the whole evacuation process.
“Only those nationals who don’t have the virus will be airlifted, they will be brought into a quarantine facility outside Delhi,” the official said, requesting anonymity. The report says demands from South Asian nationals intensified after countries such as the U.S. and Japan began pulling out their nationals.