Coronavirus: Special flights land in Delhi after evacuation from Japan, China2 min read . Updated: 27 Feb 2020, 09:24 AM IST
- An Air India special flight from Tokyo arrived in New Delhi with 119 Indian nationals
- IAF C 17 Globemaster on its return brought back 76 Indian nationals
NEW DELHI : Two Indian special flights with more than 200 people — mostly Indians and some foreign nationals — one from a ship quarantined in Japan and the other from coronavirus-hit Wuhan, arrived in New Delhi on Thursday, the Indian foreign ministry said.
The Air India special flight from Tokyo arrived in New Delhi with 119 Indian nationals and five foreign nationals on board, the Indian foriegn ministry said. All the passengers evacuated were those on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess docked off the coast of Yokohama in Japan, a foreign ministry statement said.
“Air India flight has just landed in Delhi from Tokyo,carrying 119 Indians & 5 nationals from Sri Lanka,Nepal, South Africa&Peru who were quarantined onboard the #DiamondPrincess due to #COVID19. Appreciate the facilitation of Japanese authorities.
Thank you @airindiain once again," foreign minister S Jaishankar said in a Twitter post.
According to the foreign ministry statement, "In line with India’s neighbourhood first policy and Indo-Pacific vision, the special flight also evacuated 5 foreign nationals—2 Sri Lankans, 1 Nepalese, 1 South African and 1 Peruvian."
"All the evacuees will undergo a 14 day quarantine at the quarantine facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana," it added.
The ship was put under quarantine by Japan on 5 February for 14 days until 19th February, as one of the passengers who had disembarked from the ship had tested positive for COVID-19. The quarantine period was extended by the government of Japan as the crew members were performing their regular duties during the initial quarantine period of 14 days.
Three Indian crew members of the Diamond Princess did not return by the special flight as they “conveyed their wish to continue their stay on-board the Cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the Government of Japan," the statement said.
“Out of the total 138 Indian nationals originally on-board the Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) and are receiving necessary medical care and treatment at onshore medical facilities in Japan. Embassy of India in Tokyo has established contact with these individuals and is continuously following-up on their recovery," it added.
The second flight -- an Indian Air Force C 17 Globemaster -- that had taken off from Delhi on Wednesday with 15 tonnes of medical supplies to Wuhan, on its return brought back 76 Indian nationals, including three Indian Embassy officials who were on ground in Wuhan to coordinate the evacuation, Ministry of External Affairs said in a separate statement.
The flight also evacuated 36 foreign nationals, including some from neighboring countries who had sought assistance in travelling to India in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s neighbourhood first policy, it said.
The foreign nationals comprised 23 nationals from Bangladesh, 6 from China, 2 each from Myanmar and Maldives and one each from South Africa, US and Madagascar, the second statement added.
A total of three flights have evacuated 723 Indian nationals and 43 foriegn nationals from Wuhan, China by three flights since the outbreak of the COVID-19 was reported at the end of December.