As of now no Indian affected by coronavirus outbreak in China: MEA

PTI New Delhi, India Jan 26, 2020, 09.11 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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Apart from Wuhan, 12 other cities have been completely sealed by the Chinese authorities to stop the virus from spreading.

The External Affairs Ministry said on Sunday that as of now no Indian in China has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the embassy in Beijing is in close touch with all Indians, including university students, in Wuhan and elsewhere in Hubei province.

The death toll in the deadly new coronavirus in China rose to 56 on Sunday with confirmed cases of viral affliction reaching 2,008, including 23 from abroad.

The pneumonia outbreak was first reported in Wuhan City, central China's Hubei Province, in December 2019. The city of 11 million has been in quarantine since Thursday -- with nobody allowed to leave as the government tries to contain its spread.

Apart from Wuhan, 12 other cities have been completely sealed by the Chinese authorities to stop the virus from spreading.

Also read: Beijing to postpone reopening of city's kindergartens, schools, universities

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is closely monitoring the situation, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

"We are also closely coordinating with Chinese authorities. As of now, we understand that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak and that food and water supplies are available to them," Kumar tweeted.

He said the Indian Embassy in China has also made operational three helplines to respond to any concerns of Indians in that country.

"Our embassy in Beijing is in close touch with Indian citizens including students to extend assistance, including on possible travel options out of Hubei province," the MEA spokesperson said in another tweet.

He said the Indian embassy and Consulates General in China are working with Chinese authorities to try and facilitate Indian citizens caught up in these "difficult circumstances".

Earlier on Sunday, Jaishankar said the Indian Embassy in Beijing is constantly checking on the health and well-being of Indians in China.