76 Indians and 36 foreigners were evacuated from COVID-19 epicenter Wuhan, China on Thursday morning and were taken to an ITBP facility in the national capital for quarantine, Ministry of External Affairs said. “The evacuees will go through a thermal screening procedure at the tarmac of the airport after which they will be kept at our facility in Chhawla area for quarantine,” a spokesperson of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) said.
76 Indian nationals are returning home on this flight, which also has on board 23 nationals from Bangladesh, 6 from China, 2 each from Myanmar and Maldives and one each from South Africa, USA and Madagascar. Wish them all a safe journey and good health. @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/vceibwQ3GS
— Vikram Misri (@VikramMisri) February 26, 2020
An Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft brought 112 people that includes 76 Indians, 23 citizens from Bangladesh, six from China, two from Myanmar and the Maldives and South Africa, the US and Madagascar. The military aircraft was sent to Wuhan on Wednesday and it carried 15 tonnes of medical supplies for coronavirus-affected people in China.
Earlier, India had evacuated around 650 Indians from Wuhan in two Air India flights who were kept at the ITBP facility and another quarantine facility set up by the Army in Manesar near Delhi. All these people later tested negative for the virus and were allowed to go home after over a fortnight of quarantine.
The ITBP spokesperson said a team of doctors, paramedics and others will be present at the quarantine facility round-the-clock and the inmates will be provided facilities like food, bed and indoor entertainment to spend time.
Meanwhile, Air India evacuated 119 Indians and five foreign nationals from Tokyo who were on-board Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan, External Affairs minister S Jaishankar also tweeted
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
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 26, 2020
More than 81,000 people have been infected with the virus, and 2,762 have died, with vast majority of cases in mainland China and in particular Hubei province.
After China, South Korea has emerged s the biggest center of the COVID -19 with total 1,261 cases. In Italy the number of confirmed cases has risen to 374 and 12 people have lost their lives. In Iran, 16 people have died and almost 100 cases have emerged.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, highlighted what appeared to be a slowing in the rate of new infections inside China, where the outbreak began, as well as a number of countries that appeared to have nipped incipient outbreaks in the bud.
However, he said, “The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning. There are now cases linked to Iran in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, and Oman. There are now cases linked to Italy in Algeria, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.”
“Yesterday, a joint team between the WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control arrived in Rome to review the public health measures that have been put in place and provide technical support. A WHO team will travel to Iran this weekend to provide support.”