Pakistani students in China say they'll run out of food under coronavirus lockdown

They ask the government to evacuate them
Jan 27, 2020

Pakistani students who are stuck in China’s Wuhan city amidst the coronavirus outbreak are asking the government to evacuate them. They will soon run out of food under the lockdown, they said in a video message on Sunday.

A student at the Wuhan University of Technology told SAMAA Digital that Pakistani students have been “locked up” in their rooms for the past 15 days. The student, who belongs to Faisalabad, requested anonymity because he fears he could be expelled from the university.

“We can't leave our rooms and we are running out of food,” the student said.

He said that around 200 Pakistani students are studying at Wuhan University. “We want the Pakistani government to take all of us home,” he said. “Pakistan's embassy in China told the Pakistani students to take precautionary measures and be in contact with local Chinese authorities in Wuhan.”

Hafsa Tayyab, another student at the Wuhan University, said that Pakistani students on the campus were in a state of panic. She said the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing contacted them but they were not told when they were going home.

“What will happen if one of us is infected and who will take our responsibility in Pakistan,” Tayyab asked.

Other students in the video message said the US, France and Russia are calling back their citizens and the government of Pakistan should follow suit. In a Twitter post on Sunday night Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said the Chinese authorities are not allowing anybody to leave Wuhan at present.

The Foreign Office says the Pakistani Embassy in China is actively monitoring the situation of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

“The embassy in Beijing and other sub-missions in China are also in touch with the Pakistani community as well as Chinese authorities,” the Foreign Office said.

“Over 500 students and other community members in Wuhan and in other parts of China are safe. There is no report of infection in any Pakistani thus far.

“The community has been reassured of full support and requested to follow health protocols issued by the Chinese authorities and stay indoors. The current situation calls for greater patience and perseverance.”

In a video message, Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi told Pakistani nationals to follow the instructions given by Chinese officials.

“Do not unnecessarily leave your homes and avoid going to public places,” Hashmi said. No Pakistani had so far been affected by the coronavirus, she added.




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