It is worth noting that three persons have been killed in wild animal attacks in Wayanad in the recent weeks.
As part of India’s Vande Bharat Mission, two Air India flights carrying a total of 335 people from the Gulf countries landed in Kerala’s two airports on Friday night.
The Centre on Monday had announced plans to begin a phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7. Under ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ 64 ferry services are to be operated from May 7 to May 13 and is billed as one of the biggest air evacuation missions to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals from 12 countries who have been stranded due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
National carrier Air India’s repatriation flight from Riyadh carrying 153 passengers, including 84 pregnant women, 22 children and four infants landed at the Kozhikode airport 8 pm on Friday night, while another Air India Express flight from Bahrain with 177 passengers, including 5 infants, reached Kochi airport at 11.32 pm.
Meanwhile, two Air India flights had arrived in Kerala on Thursday night. The first flight landed at Kochi from Abu Dhabi with 177 passengers around 10.05 pm, while the second flight at Kozhikode from Dubai with 182 passengers.
Sources at Kozhikode airport said that the flight from Riyadh carried five people having some health issues and they would be shifted to Manjeri and Kozhikode medical college hospitals.
Ten passengers from neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also travelled in the flight from Riyadh.
The passengers went through a health check up at the airport as they were not tested for coronavirus in Bahrain. All the passengers went through COVID-19 rapid test at the airport before transferring them to their respective destinations by special taxis and KSRTC buses.
As per protocol, symptomatic people were immediately moved to a separate area and were taken to the nearby state run hospital after the initial formalities.
Passengers from other districts were sent to their respective districts by state road transport buses and will have to stay under 14-day quarantine at the state run corona care centres.
As per the norms, all the pregnant women and children were transported to their homes and others would be shifted to coronavirus care centres in their home districts.
On Friday , the police cordoned off the entry to the airport from the main road, as in Thursday, there were a good number of onlookers. The baggage of all the passengers was disinfected before handing over to them.
Besides Air India, the national carrier’s subsidiary Air India Express has also operated flights under the evacuation programme undertaken by the government.
India imposed a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country, grounding all international flights since mid-March.
Under the repatriation plan, the government is facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner.
Overall, more than 190,000 Indian nationals, who would have to pay a one-way ferry service charge, are expected to be brought back in the airlift operation that might last couple of weeks or even more.
These special flights are operated by Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express to repatriate Indians from 12 countries — the UAE, the UK, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
The Government is also deploying a raft of Indian naval ships to undertake the massive exercise. A total of 14 warships have been readied for evacuating Indian citizens from Gulf and other countries amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian Navy’s INS Jalashwa had reached the Male port in Maldives on Thursday under its ‘Operation Samudra Setu’ to evacuate Indian citizens stranded there amid the lockdown.