After China urged New Delhi to review situation arising out of Coronavirus outbreak in “objective and rational” manner, India on Sunday said some restrictions have been imposed on the export of certain medical equipment in view of the fact that the items are in short supply.
Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar’s response came after Chinese Embassy to India spokesperson Ji Rong urged New Delhi to resume bilateral trade and movement of people.
Mr Kumar said, “The precautions taken by India are in accordance with the WHO’s advisory about the outbreak of Coronavirus infection, which is a global public health emergency.”
“Some restrictions have been imposed on the export of certain medical equipment in view of the fact that these items are in short supply here too. Just like any other country, India with a billion plus population has the responsibility to take necessary measures to combat the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak which if not properly managed, can become a global risk,” he added.
He also said that the Government had allowed a one-time exemption for the export of some items which had been restricted for export.
The ministry of external affairs spokesperson also mentioned about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s letter to President Xi Jingping, offering assistance in the hour of need.
“In a humanitarian gesture of medical relief, a gift reflecting the solidarity of the people of India with the people of China, is expected to be delivered to Wuhan by a special flight. We have also called upon the Chinese authorities to allow Indian citizens and those of our neighbouring countries to return by the same flight. We hope that they will give it positive consideration,” Mr Kumar said.
On Saturday, government sources said that China was “deliberately delaying” permission for the Indian Air Force plane to coronavirus-hit Wuhan to supply relief materials and bring back more Indians from the city.
Last week, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong urged India to review restrictions on trade and movement of people.
India has already evacuated around 640 Indians from Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak, in two separate flights.
According to estimates, over 100 Indians are still stuck in Wuhan.