05:45 GMT25 November 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The novel coronavirus that originated in China at the end of 2019 has been declared a pandemic. According to statistics platform Worldometers.info, the virus outbreak has now infected 126,367 people and killed 4,633 worldwide.

    At a time when the world is trying to come together and battle the deadly disease collectively, a “racist and hateful” comment by Jim O’Neill, the chair of British think tank Chatham House targeting India has shaken social networking platforms with reactions and comments.

    According to media reports, in an interview on international television O’Neill expressed appreciation for the Chinese government for being so “quick and aggressive” in their response towards tackling the coronavirus menace. Following that statement the British think tank expert “thanked god” that the virus did not erupt from “somewhere like India”.

    “Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done, that’s the good side of the Chinese model", O’Neill was quoted as saying.

    Since the eruption of the coronavirus, India has not only helped its own nationals but also citizens of other nations.

    In February, India very swiftly sent its national carrier Air India to China two times to bring back over 640 Indians who were stuck in the country.

    The country also carried out an Indian Air Force flight to the epicentre of the outbreak, China's Wuhan, and rescued 36 foreigners along with 76 Indian nationals.

    Those rescued by India include people from Bangladesh, Myanmar, South Africa, the US, and Madagascar.

    The Foreign Minister of Maldives, Abdulla Shahid later thanked the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for helping its citizens escape China in time.

    ​In addition, India also extended a helping hand to China in terms of supplying urgent medical aid. On 2 February, India's federal Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan announced that New Delhi was also ready to send medical equipment, medicine or any other material to aid China in combating the virus as a goodwill gesture.

    At present, India is treating and taking care of 16 Italian tourists who not only tested positive for the coronavirus, but also tottered around the country spreading the disease. Prior to this, the country only had three cases of the virus, in the state of Kerala, all of whom have since recovered.

    Despite the Indian government’s efficient work in a tense virus-ridden global situation, the capability of the country is being subjected to offensive, condescending, and racist sarcasm.

    O’Neill’s comment did not go down well with Twitterati who are now schooling the Englishman on moral values and facts.

    ​Some 60 positive cases of  the coronavirus have been reported in India, with no reported deaths. In a bid to quartine the country, India has suspended previously-issued tourist visas until 15 April. 

    All visas except “diplomatic, official, UN/International Organisations, employment, project visas” have been suspended for now on visa-free travel card holders as well.







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