The Wuhan coronavirus has brought to life many tales seen only in disaster films produced in Hollywood and the latest case of Jyothi, an Indian software employee who was stranded in Wuhan despite her pleas to take her home.
Jyothi, who is from the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, has her wedding slated for February 18 but she was denied boarding at the last minute when the first Indian evacuation flight was taking off. She was assured that the next one would come soon. But the second one too turned down her plea to evacuate her from Wuhan last week.
Wedding plans go bizarre
Jyothi Annem, a techie from Andhra Pradesh in India, has been denied evacuation on the grounds that she was running fever at the time the first flight was taking off. So is her colleague, Satya Sai Krishna, who also hails from the same state. Despite their pleas, many people were stranded in Wuhan on suspicion of infection.
In a heart wrenching tweet, Jyothi said:"My colleagues and I were supposed to take the first flight out of Wuhan to go home. But two of us had high body temperatures... we were stopped from taking the first flight. We were told you can take the next one. But in the afternoon we got a phone call and were told you can't even take the second flight because you have fever. The Chinese haven't confirmed or denied we have the virus, but we are ready to prove we are healthy."
"Our body temperature is normal now. I am very healthy, please take me back to India," she pleaded in the message. The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not replied to the tweet, bringing to memories of late minister Sushma Swaraj, who never spared even an individual case and extended a quick helping hand to Indians stranded anywhere in the world any time. Unlike those golden days, the Indian ministry of foreign affairs has not responded to even one such plea.
In fact, the Indian ministry has maintained that the Chinese authorities have helped in facilitating the two flights to evacuate earlier, It was not until Jyothi revealed, the ground reality did not come to light that many were still stranded on fears of infection.
Ground reality never known still
As of Jan 26, the Indian ministry maintained that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak. In his tweet, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: "We are also closely coordinating with Chinese authorities. As of now, we understand that no Indian citizens have been affected by the outbreak and that food and water supplies are available to them."
If so, "why Jyothi was not brought back. Why not second time," ask netizens on social media. But those familiar with the functioning of the ministry under Sushma Swaraj miss those days when she quickly extended an assurance. It's all just a matter of transparency, whether on Indian side or the Chinese side.