A special Air India flight arrived in New Delhi from Tokyo, today bringing back 119 Indian nationals (113 crew members and 6 passengers) who were on-board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship docked off at Yokohama in Japan.
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 a14 day quarantine at the quarantine facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana.
03 Indian crew members didn’t board the special flight and 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.
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.
The ship was put under quarantine by Government of Japan on 5th February 2020 for 14 days until 19th February 2020, 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.
Goodwill Flight with Emergency Medical Assistance from India to Peoples Republic of China (PRC)
Meanwhile a special flight of Indian Air Force (IAF) comprising of crew, medical team and support staff on Wednesday departed from Air Force Station, Palam, New Delhi to Wuhan, China. The C-17 Globemaster III airlifted approximately 15 tonnes of medical supplies as a goodwill gesture from the Government of India.
On its return, the same aircraft will retrieve approximately 120 personnel + 05 children in arms from Wuhan. The passengers for the return leg will mainly comprise of Indian citizens and citizens from friendly foreign countries. It is likely to return during early morning hours on 27 Feb 20 to Air Force Station, Palam.
This assistance has been provided in the wake of the Corona virus (Covid 19) outbreak in China and the request by China to provide supplies such as masks and medical equipment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had written to President Xi Jinping on 8 February 2020 expressing the solidarity of the people of India and the Indian Government with the people and Government of China and also offered assistance to China in this 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.
The assistance is also a mark of friendship and solidarity from the people of India towards the people of China as the two countries also celebrate 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations this year.