7 Maldivians evacuated from Wuhan quarantined in Chhawla camp

Seven Maldivian citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, pose for a picture upon arrival at the Indhira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on February 2, 2020. (Photo/Twitter/Sidhant Sibal)

The seven Maldivian citizens who were evacuated from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus, on Sunday, have been taken to a camp located in West Delhi to be quarantined.

The seven Maldivian citizens; five women, one man and one child, had been evacuated from Wuhan on a special Air Indian flight, along with 323 Indian citizens.

They have now been taken to the quarantine facility build by the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), a paramilitary force, in its Chhawla camp. The camp is located in West Delhi.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid, during a press conference earlier on Sunday to announce the evacuation of the seven Maldivian citizens from Wuhan, had confirmed that they would be taken to the quarantine facility in the Chhawla camp.

He has also said that the Maldivian High Commission in India would provide them with SIMs to facilitate communication between them and their families back in Maldives as soon as they were moved to the camp.

He provided assurance the High Commission would keep a close watch over the condition of the Maldivian citizens.

“There are now, 43 Maldivian people who remain in China. We are closely monitoring all of them. The Maldivian government is working on providing all the support the Maldivian people need, all the assistance we can lend, given the situation,” said Shahid.

The 43 Maldivian citizens who remain in China include two in Wuhan, who did not wish to be evacuated.

The 7 Maldivian citizens who were evacuated will remain under quarantine for 14 days.

“We will decide on how to proceed once the 14-day quarantine period ends. We need to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of the people above setting dates,” said Shahid.

Shahid has thanked the Indian government for its assistance in evacuating and quarantining the Maldivian citizens, something which he described as an act of great generosity.

“This entire effort, evacuating the Maldivian citizens to Delhi and quarantining them, is an act of great generosity by the Indian government. These seven Maldivians will be there as India’s guests,” said Shahid.