China deliberately delaying clearance for IAF flight to bring back Indians from Wuhan: Sources

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China is deliberately delaying grant of clearance for an Indian Air Force flight carrying relief supplies which will also bring back remaining Indians from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus COVID-19, sources said.

China continues to maintain that there is no delay, the flight which was set to leave yesterday has not received any clearance yet.

According to the sources, there are relief and evacuation flights from other countries which are still going on, but the Chinese have been delaying clearance for Indian relief flight.

India had earlier announced that it will send its plane with medical supplies to Wuhan and bring back its nationals who were still stuck there on the return flight.

“Many Indian nationals currently in Wuhan/Hubei Province and wishing to return to India have already been in touch with @EOIBeijing,” India in China had tweeted.

“GoI will send a consignment of medical supplies on a relief flight to Wuhan later this week to support China to fight the COVID-19 epidemic. On its return, the flight will have limited capacity to take on board Indians wishing to return to India from Wuhan/Hubei,” it added.

The death toll from China’s new coronavirus epidemic has risen to 2345 and the total number of confirmed cases of people infected with the virus have reached 76288, Chinese health officials said.