2019-nCoV: 324 Indians evacuated from virus-hit Wuhan, quarantined in Manesar near Delhi
New Delhi, Feb 01: Air India's jumbo B747 plane, evacuating 324 Indian nationals from the coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China, landed on Saturday morning, officials said. The plane reached Delhi around 7.30 am, they said. The passengers have been quarantined in a specially prepared facility in Manesar near Delhi, the Indian Army, which has mounted a full-fledged operation for this purpose, said.
This is in continuation on the travel advisory issued by the Union Health Ministry regarding the threat of novel coronavirus in Wuhan, Hubei province of China asking citizens to follow certain precautionary measures while visiting the country.
The departure of the flight was delayed from Wuhan airport as the immigration and Chinese authorities did not allow six Indians on board after they reported high temperatures during screening. "Six passengers were offloaded as they had high temperatures," a passenger told news agency ANI.
"With 324 passengers, the special flight has taken off for India from Wuhan. It may reach Delhi at 7.30 am," said an Air India spokesperson at 1.19 am on Saturday. There are five doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital and one paramedical staff on board, said the Air India spokesperson.
The flight had departed from Delhi airport at 1.17 pm on Friday to evacuate Indian nationals from China, where more than 200 people - none of them Indian - have died due to novel coronavirus. On Friday evening, the Air India spokesperson had stated that another special flight may take off from Delhi airport on Saturday to evacuate Indians from Wuhan.
The coronavirus (CoV) is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus that has killed four people in China is a novel strain not seen before.
Common symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) strain, which has infected more than 300 people since the outbreak in Wuhan in December, include respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 259 with total confirmed cases surging to 11,791 amid stepped-up efforts by a number of countries to evacuate their nationals from Hubei province, the epicentre of the virus, officials said on Saturday.