An Air India flight carrying 119 Indians and five foreign nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, who were quarantined on board the coronavirus-hit Japan cruise ship Diamond Princess, landed in Delhi from Tokyo on Thursday morning.
They will be kept under quarantine at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) facility in Manesar near Gurgaon, Hindustan Times reported.
Foreign minister S Jaishankar, taking to Twitter, thanked the Japanese authorities for their facilitation in evacuation.
"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 on board the #DiamondPrincess due to #COVID19. Appreciate the facilitation of Japanese authorities.Thank you @airindiain once again," tweeted Jaishankar.
The luxury cruise ship docked off at Yokohama in Japan had as many as 138 Indians onboard, including 132 crew and six passengers. 3,711 people were on board the cruise ship which was quarantined off Japan on February 5 after a former passenger tested positive for the new virus covid-19. The government of Japan had initially put the under quarantine for 14 days until February 19. The quarantine period was later extended by the Japanese government as the crew members were performing their regular duties during the initial quarantine period of 14 days.
Out of the total 138 Indian nationals originally on board the Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members tested positive for coronavirus 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, said a government statement.
An IAF C17 aircraft evacuated a group of 112 Indians and foreign nationals from the coronavirus outbreak epicentre, Wuhan, late on Wednesday. The aircraft had landed in China carrying 5 tonnes of medical supplies to aid the country in its fight against covid-19 outbreak, which has so far killed 2,718 people and infected 78,196 more in mainland China.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to Chinese President Xi Jinping on February 8, 2020 expressing India's solidarity "…with the people and Government of China and also offered assistance to China in its hour of need as a gift. The medical supplies will help augment the China's efforts to control the outbreak of this infection which has been declared as a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation," a government statement had said.
In the first week of February, India had evacuated 647 nationals and seven Maldivians in two Air India flights.