323 Indians evacuated by AI flight from coronavirus-hit Wuhan arrive in Delhi
A special flight of Air India carrying the second batch of 323 Indians from China’s Wuhan landed in Delhi on Sunday morning, a day after hundreds were evacuated from the Chinese city in Hubei province at the centre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Indian ambassador to China, Vikram Misri, said seven people from the Maldives have also been evacuated from Wuhan.
The Maldives’ foreign minister Abdulla Shahid thanked India for bringing his country’s nationals out of Wuhan.
“Seven Maldivians in Wuhan are on their way to Delhi on the special Air India flight. Upon arrival, they’ll be housed in Delhi for a period of quarantine. My deep gratitude to PM Narendra Modi and external affairs minister Dr Jaishankar,” Shahid was quoted as saying by ANI.
The 323 will be screened for symptoms of coronavirus at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the Capital and then taken to the two quarantine facilities set up by the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Delhi and neighbouring Haryana’s Manesar.
Five doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, who were on board the first flight, were also in the second flight to monitor the evacuees, an Air India spokesperson said.
On Saturday, Air India’s jumbo B747 had carried 324 Indians from Wuhan. Officials had said that one of the evacuees has so far shown symptoms of being affected by the virus.
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 death toll from the new virus has gone up to 304 with more than 14,000 cases, amid warnings from the World Health Organization that other countries need to be prepared in the event the disease spreads among their populations.
Figures from the National Health Commission released on Sunday showed an increase of 45 in the death toll and 2590 in the number of cases for a total of 14,380.
Of the 324 Indians evacuated from Wuhan on Saturday, 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. They may have to undergo tests to confirm if are infected with the virus.
India reported its first case of coronavirus on Thursday, with a woman in Kerala who had recently returned to the country from Wuhan testing positive.