ISLAMABAD - The government on Monday started considering the option of evacuating Pakistani students stranded in China after the Coronavirus death toll there crossed the 900 figure.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza, SAPM on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing held a meeting here to discuss the issues of Pakistani nationals stuck in China.

Both the SAPMs also held a video conference with Pakistani students in China to talk about the issues they are facing there and to take their opinion.

A statement released by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) quoted Dr. Zafar Mirza as having said, “We are reviewing all aspects of the issue and monitoring the situation round the clock ‘if needed’ we will not waste a single moment in evacuating our students.”

He also said that a detailed discussion was held with the Chinese ambassador and every effort is being made to facilitate the students.

He added that the Pakistan embassy in China and Chinese government stand with Pakistani students and will take a decision in this regard.

However, Mirza said that at the moment the Chinese government has not allowed anyone to enter or leave Hubei province. He also said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has issued special instructions to look after the Pakistani students in China and every effort is being made to facilitate the students.

He said that in a meeting with the Chinese ambassador especially the issues of Pakistani students in Wuhan were facing discussed.

He also updated that so far no case of Coronavirus has been confirmed in Pakistan. However, earlier he had stated that 43 tests have been performed on the samples taken from suspected patients who recently returned from China including a sample of a student from Khairpur.

Earlier, the government had said that no Pakistani will return without completion of 14-day incubation period in China and declare virus-free.

The SAPM said that the decision had been taken following into the footsteps of Chinese government which had made a similar compulsory regulation for its own citizens before they leave the country.

Dr. Mirza said that the Chinese government had made the regulation for its citizens that no one would be able to travel to other countries unless it spends 14 days under observation and should have incubation certificate in this manner.

He said Pakistan has also agreed with China that no Pakistani will leave China until it covers 14 days of incubation period.

He said Pakistan Embassy in China has also taken measures for its citizens regarding keeping them in observation before they leave China and also made an agreement for facilitation in visa issues adding that no individual will face problem in getting visa extension as Pakistan Embassy was facilitating them.