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Air India flight with Indians to take off from Wuhan on Saturday

 Beijing: The special Air India aircraft was set to take off from the Cornonavirus-hit Wuhan city in central China with more than 370 Indians early on Saturday.

The Indians were taken to the designated airport from different parts of locked down Wuhan in buses on Friday evening and were screened for symptoms of the disease before being allowed to board.

A second flight was likely to be dispatched later to evacuate the remaining Indians in the Hubei province.

As many as 213 have died and more than 9600 have been infected in the Coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan and then spread across China and in several other countries including India.

A city of around 11 million people, Wuhan has been under an unprecedented lockdown for more than a week to contain the spread of the virus.

All non-essential entry and exit into the city is currently banned and private vehicles are not allowed to ply within the city.

Earlier this week, the US and Japan were the first countries to evacuate their citizens from the city; UK flew out around 200 nationals earlier on Friday.

The Indians being evacuated from Wuhan will have to be mandatorily quarantined for 14 days after they return.

The quarantine is to ensure that in case anyone among them is a carrier, she or he is not able to infect another person.

Experts say a person can be a carrier even without showing symptoms of the disease and can possibly infect another within a 14-day incubation period.

The Indian embassy got clearance from the Chinese government’s foreign ministry to fly out its citizens after days of negotiations.

The Chinese were earlier not in favor of evacuating foreign nationals possibly because the government doesn’t want the disease to spread.

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