324 evacuated from Wuhan taken to 2 quarantine centres

Updated on Feb 02, 2020 07:13 AM IST

After an initial screening for symptoms at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Capital, all of the evacuees, most of whom are students, were taken to the two quarantine facilities set up by the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Delhi and neighbouring Manesar, Haryana.

A bus carrying some of the evacuees to a quarantine centre on Saturday.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
A bus carrying some of the evacuees to a quarantine centre on Saturday.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The Air India jumbo B747 carrying 324 Indians from Wuhan, the central Chinese city in Hubei province at the centre of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, landed at the Delhi airport around 7.30am on Saturday while countries across the world evacuated their citizens as death toll from the contagion rose to 259.

After an initial screening for symptoms at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Capital, all of the evacuees, most of whom are students, were taken to the two quarantine facilities set up by the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Delhi and neighbouring Manesar, Haryana.

None of the evacuees has so far shown symptoms of being affected by the virus, government officials said.

“The 324 incoming Indian citizens from Wuhan, China have reached today. Of these, 104 are housed at Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s Chhawla Camp [southwest Delhi] and 220 are in Manesar. They are being effectively monitored,” the Union health ministry said in a statement. Both facilities can hold up to 900 people.

Those quarantined will be observed for any signs of the infection for at least two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff trained at the facilities.

China’s National Health Commission said on Saturday there were 2,102 new confirmed infections in China on Friday, bringing the total to 11,791. Around two dozen other countries -- including the first confirmed case in India -- have reported another 137 cases. The death toll rose by 46 to 259.

Of the 324 Indians evacuated from Wuhan, 211 are students, 110 working professionals and three minors. Of them, 56 are from Andhra Pradesh, 53 from Tamil Nadu and 42 from Kerala.

About six others were not allowed to board the plane by immigration officials in China as they showed symptoms such as high fever, officials in Beijing told news agency PTI. They may have to undergo tests to confirm if are infected with the virus.

Another flight of the airline, which departed for the Chinese city from Delhi around 1:37pm on Saturday, is set to airlift the remaining Indian citizens in the worst-affected province.

Five doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, who were on board the first flight, are also in the second flight to monitor the evacuees, an Air India spokesperson said.

India on Thursday reported its first case of coronavirus, with a woman student in Kerala who had recently returned to the country from Wuhan testing positive. The woman, who is in an isolation ward at a hospital in Thrissur, is stable and her condition is improving, the state government had said earlier.

Till Friday, eight people were admitted to isolation wards set up in Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for suspected infections, hospital authorities said.

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