218 Indians from coronavirus-hit Italy land in Delhi, will be quarantined for 14 days
A special flight of Air India carrying 211 Indian students and eight other passengers, who were stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy after flights were cancelled, landed in Delhi on Sunday.
Union minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said the flight, which had taken off from Milan on Saturday, carried 218 Indians, including 211 students. They will be shifted to Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s camp in Chhawla area of the Capital.
“All will be quarantined for 14 days. The government is committed to reaching out to Indians in distress, wherever they are,” the minister said.
The Indian consulate in Milan tweeted its gratitude to all those who had helped them evacuate the Indian nationals.
“211 students & 7 compassionate cases departed by AI flight #Milan. All those who helped us through this difficult situation, special thanks to @airindiain team & Italian authorities. Consulate will continue to ensure the welfare of all Indians in northern #Italy,” the Indian consulate had tweeted.
More than 230 people were also brought back from Iran, another epicentre of coronavirus, earlier in the day. They were then taken to a quarantine facility of the Indian Army in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer.
India evacuated its nationals out after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and said Europe is the new epicentre of the virus.
Italy remains the worst affected country in Europe and second only to China, where the highly infectious virus first emerged.
The death toll in Italy’s coronavirus outbreak rose to 1441 on Saturday, up almost 14% from the 1266 total reported a day earlier, officials said. The total number of cases rose to 21,157 from 17,660, they said.
Air India has cancelled flights to Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Israel, South Korea and Sri Lanka till April 30, amid mounting concerns over coronavirus pandemic.
India has carried out evacuations from several countries, including China, Japan and Iran, as the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise in these countries.