112 people, including 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals, stranded in coronavirus hit Wuhan province of China were brought to Delhi by an Indian Air Force special aircraft “Globe Master” (C-17), even as Air India flight, repatriated 119 Indian crew and passengers from the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” docked in Japan, on Thursday.
The C17 transport aircraft that left for China earlier with 15 tonnes of medical supplies from India to the virus-hit Wuhan landed in Delhi on Thursday morning bringing back the Indians and some foreign nationals along. Those evacuated will be quarantined at ITBP’s facility at Mansar (Haryana) for 14 days before being allowed to go.
“On its return from Wuhan, the IAF flight has brought back 76 Indians & 36 nationals from 7 countries – Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, China, South Africa, USA and Madagascar. Appreciate facilitation by the Chinese government,” External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted.
The C-17 Globe Master, the biggest military cargo plane of IAF, was waiting for more than a week seeking clearance from China. The plane also had a huge supply of medical supplies to help China fight the virus. It was after long discussion the Chinese authorities granted clearance to the aircraft to land in China.
Those evacuated by special IAF flight included Ashwini Patil from Satara (Maharashtra). While her husband had gone to Poland for medical treatment, she was stranded in Wuhan. She had appealed to the Government of India for help through a TV interview on 10 February, 2020. In response to her appeal MP Srinivas Patil, former MP Udayan Raje Bhosale, MLA Prithviraj Chavan used their good offices and followed up with Indian Embassy in China.
In the meanwhile Two passengers, who arrived at Kolkata international airport from Bangkok, were placed in isolation for suspected novel coronavirus. A passenger named Himadri Barman was quarantined on Tuesday, while Nagendra Singh was quarantined on Wednesday. Both passengers were sent to Beliaghata ID Hospital.
At present, passengers arriving from Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok are being screened as no flights are operating to and from China. Passengers of flights coming to Kolkata from Kunming and Guangzhou in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok are being screened since January 17.
In the meanwhile the poultry business in Maharashtra has been badly hit due to rumours that consumption of chicken leads to coronavirus. The prices of chicken have fallen up to Rs 160 per kg as against Rs 200 kg earlier. As a distress sale some vendors are offering the chicken at Rs 90 per kgs to attract the customers.