Coronavirus outbreak: India evacuates 112 people from China, 124 from Japan

Topics Coronavirus | China | Japan

A special flight of IAF comprising of the crew, medical team & support staff departed from Air Force Station, Palam on 26 Feb 20 (Photo: @IAF_MCC)

India on Thursday brought back 112 people from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan and another group of 124 from Tokyo who were on board a cruise ship infected by the deadly virus.

A C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft of Indian Air Force evacuated 76 Indians and 36 foreign nationals from Wuhan while an Air India flight brought back the group of 124 people from Tokyo.

The foreign national evacuated from Wuhan included 23 from Bangladesh, six from China, two each from Myanmar and Maldives and one each from South Africa, USA and Madagascar.

Besides 119 Indians, the people evacuated from Japan included two from Sri Lanka and one each from Nepal, South Africa and Peru. The group was among 3,711 people who were on board the coronavirus-infected Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port near Tokyo on February 3.

"In line with India's neighbourhood first policy and Indo-Pacific vision, the special flight also evacuated five foreign nationals -- two Sri Lankans, one Nepalese, one South African and one Peruvian," the External Affairs Ministry said.

Three Indian crew members didn't board the Air India flight as they conveyed their wish to continue their stay on-board the cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the Japanese government.

Out of the total 138 Indian nationals originally on-board Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for coronavirus and are receiving medical care at an onshore medical facility in Japan.

All the evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at the facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar.

India sent the C-17 Globemaster to Wuhan on Wednesday and it carried 15 tonnes of medical supplies for coronavirus-affected people in China.

On its return, the aircraft brought back 112 people including 23 citizens from Bangladesh, six from China, two each from Myanmar and the Maldives and one each from South Africa, the US and Madagascar.

Earlier, India had evacuated around 650 Indians from Wuhan in two Air India flights.

"In all 723 Indian nationals and 43 foreign nationals have been evacuated from Wuhan, China in these three flights," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

On the medical supplies delivered by India to China, the MEA said they will help augment the country's efforts to control the coronavirus outbreak 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," it said.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel