Monday Jan 27, 2020
A group of Pakistani students has demanded that the government make efforts to rescue them from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, according to a video uploaded on social media.
Wuhan has been under a virtual lockdown for days, with transport suspended and citizens told to stay home as the death toll from the viral epidemic that originated in the city soared to 80.
New infections are being reported as major countries step up efforts to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan. The United States, Germany and France are among several countries planning to take such measures.
Hafsah Tayab, one of the students stuck in the city of Wuhan, spoke to Geo News and confirmed that other countries are planning to get their citizens out of the city through airplanes.
"Embassies of other countries [excluding Pakistan] are rescuing their citizens. There are over 500 Pakistani students in Wuhan. If even one of them gets affected, the others will be in danger," she warned.
"There is a shortage of essentials and if this situation persists, we will run out of food very soon," Tayab said in the video message, adding that she and her fellow students have been confined to the city.
"We plead that the authorities take notice of our situation on a humanitarian basis and do something about it. We will be grateful to you all our lives," another student can be heard saying in the video.
According to a student from the Wuhan University of Science and Technology, there are about 200 Pakistani students in the institute, and a total of 2,000 in other universities of the city.
"A few days ago, Pakistani students stuck in Wuhan were very scared. However, the Pakistani embassy in Beijing has made efforts to provide us with what we need," Tayab said while speaking to Geo. "The Pakistani authorities have assured us that they will get us out of the city like other countries," Tayab added.
The Foreign Office (FO) has confirmed that efforts are being made to help out the students.
"The officials are in constant touch with Chinese authorities in order to make necessary arrangements for Pakistanis struck in affected areas, and a special briefing for all the embassies in Beijing has been scheduled today," FO Spokesperson Aaisha Forooqui said.