IAF special flight carrying medical assistance reaches coronavirus-hit Wuhan

New Delhi [India], Feb 26 (ANI): An Indian Air Force (IAF) special flight carrying around 15 tonnes of medical assistance comprising masks, gloves and other emergency medical equipment, landed in the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

"Consignment (15 tonnes) of Indian medical relief for #COVID19 lands in Wuhan. Strong expression of our solidarity with the Chinese people at this difficult time. Thank you @IAF_MCC and @EOIBeijing for your efforts," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.

The medical supplies will help augment China's efforts to control the outbreak of this infection which has claimed more than 2700 lives in the country and has been declared as a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

"This assistance has been provided in the wake the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in China and the request by China to provide supplies such as masks and medical equipment," the MEA said in an earlier statement.

The IAF flight will also bring back Indian and foreign nationals from some of the neighbouring countries, who had sought assistance in travelling to India, in keeping with New Delhi's neighbourhood first policy.

The development comes more than two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to Chinese President Xi Jinping, offering assistance to China amid the outbreak of the disease.

"The assistance being sent today is also a mark of friendship and solidarity from the people of India towards the people of China as the two countries also celebrate 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year," the statement read. (ANI)