NEW DELHI: As the coronavirus epidemic spreads globally and more cases come to the fore, the Indian government is leaving no stone unturned to help its nationals stranded in different countries hit by the virus.
As the virus started to spread in China in December 2019, India was among the first countries to evacuate its citizens from coronavirus-hit Wuhan. India arranged special flights to bring back its citizens from China.
India has, so far, brought back more than 1000 nationals from China, Italy, Iran and other countries and few citizens of other countries:
647 people brought back from China
* 654 people were brought back from Wuhan, China on February 1 and 3 and discharged on February 18, 2020.
* Earlier, as Wuhan city in Hubei province of China became the epicentre of the COVID-19 and there were hundreds of Indians stuck in the city, Air India operated two special flights for the evacuation efforts which brought back 654 passengers that included 647 Indian citizens.
* On February 26, the Indian Air Force evacuated 112 passengers from Hubei province in China. Among these 76 were Indian citizens. The other nationals evacuated by Indian Air Force included citizens of Myanmar, Bangladesh, Maldives, China, USA, Madagascar and South Africa.
* The passengers reached India on February 27, 2020, and subsequently were housed at ITBP camp for a period of 14 days, as per the protocol. They tested negative for COVID-19 in the first test.
* The IAF flight had also carried medical supplies which were given as a good-will gesture to China.
389 people evacuated from Iran
* 234 Indians stranded in coronavirus-hit Iran were brought back in the first phase. The batch comprised 131 students and 103 pilgrims.
* A total of 389 Indians have returned to India from Iran.
218 Indians brought back from Italy
All of these Indian nationals were brought back from virus-hit Milan.
119 citizens evacuated from Japan
* Air India brought 119 Indians and 5 nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa, and Peru who were quarantined onboard the diamond princess cruise. They were discharged on March 14 after being tested negative.
* Air India flight carried an evacuation operation bringing back 124 passengers including 5 foreign nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru, from Port of Yokohama in Japan. The evacuees are housed at army facility in Manesar. They have tested negative in the first test.
Total number of Indian nationals and others evacuated
So far, the government of India has evacuated 1031 persons, including 48 nationals from countries such as Maldives, Myanmar, Bangladesh, China, US, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru.
Till date, 890 evacuees from COVID-19 affected countries have been discharged after 14 days isolation and having tested negative as per the protocol.
All of the evacuees have been treated free of cost by the government.
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