No Pakistani student has yet returned from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic in Hubei Province, despite previous reports from Chinese authorities easing quarantine measures, a media spokesperson said on Thursday. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Aisha Farooqui.
“The local authorities in Wuhan issued a quarantine release notice in Wuhan last week, which was immediately withdrawn before the implementation,” said Farooqui.
“All Pakistani students are safe, including the four discharged from hospital after recovering from an infection,” she said, adding that the Pakistani embassy in Beijing is in touch with the Chinese authorities.
The Wuhan administration announced on February 24 that people stranded in the city were allowed to leave unless they were under observation or quarantined. The notification raised hope among the families of 1,100 Pakistani students, who have been stranded in Hubei since the January 23 lockdown.
However, the announcement was withdrawn three hours later, when Wuhan mayor Zhou Xianwang said it was published without permission.
Meanwhile, two Pakistani embassy officials who went to Wuhan in mid-February to meet the students and get first-hand information about their well-being remain in the city, according to Farooqui.
“The Chinese authorities have authorized officials from our embassy to enter Wuhan on condition that they cannot leave before the quarantine is lifted. They are still there and are taking care of the Pakistani community,” she said. declared.
The spokeswoman added that the government had transferred ¥ 3,500 ($ 504) to each of the students.
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“There are many students who only went to Hubei Province for a few days to collect their certificates and diplomas. But they were blocked due to quarantine. The Pakistan government has provided ¥ 3,500 to each student enrolled in the Pakistani mission in Beijing, “said Farooqui, hoping quarantine will be lifted this month.
The students say, however, that they don’t want money but an evacuation.
“We all received ¥ 3,500 on our Pakistani government accounts, but we did not ask for money. They should evacuate us because many countries have evacuated their students from Wuhan. We are sitting at the epicenter of coronavirus and we are concerned about our safety, “said Sadia Bajwa, a Pakistani student from Bahawalpur who is doing her doctoral studies at Huazhong Agricultural University, by telephone to Arab News on Thursday. Pakistan has decided not to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan after the start of the epidemic. Passionate video calls from stranded students flooded Pakistani social media, but the government refused to fire them in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.