The special carrier of Air India, which airlifted to Italy to rescue the Indians from the worst-hit European country amid the Coronavirus outbreak, has landed in Delhi on Sunday morning with 263 Indians who were evacuated from Rome, the capital of Italy.
The reports say that the evacuees, mostly students, have been quarantined in the quarantine facility installed in the Indo-Tibetan Border Police control in Chhawla, Delhi where they would be treated under isolation. Upon arrival, the passengers from the new epicenter of the virus were handled at the isolation bay that lies away from the rest of the airport terminals in Delhi airport and they were taken out to the quarantine facility through the separate exit and before leaving the airport, all the passengers went through the thermal screening.
According to ANI, the Delhi customs had provided its assistance to clear all 263 passengers from Rome at the remote bay and all the precautions and standard operating procedures were carried out for handling the passengers. Italy is one of the devastated countries that had more Indians stranded in its territory and they appealed for the rescue from the Indian government.
On Saturday, Air India, which is India's flagship carrier, had deployed its Boeing 777 aircraft with 12 crew members on board to rescue and evacuate stranded Indians in Rome and on Sunday, the special aircraft has touched down in Delhi at 9.16 am with 263 passengers on board. However, this wouldn't be the last rescue mission as the Central government would have to deploy another round of rescue mission to evacuate more than 500 Indians who are estimated to be under lockdown in Italy.
The reports have stated that the current number of evacuees is the second batch of Indians who have been rescued from Italy. Earlier, the Indian government has rescued about 218 Indians from the Italian city of Milan, that has been witnessing unprecedented lockdown. Apart from rescuing Indians from Italy, the Indian government has earlier evacuated hundreds of Indians from China, Iran, and Malaysia as these countries have been reporting with soaring high cases due to the pandemic.
This rescue mission has come when the ban imposed by the Indian government on the international passenger traffic took its effect. As per the directive, the Indian airports will be closed to the international passenger flights from March 22nd to March 29th to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, the global pandemic threatening the world countries making India unexceptional.
263 Indian students & compassionate cases departed for India by special AI flight from Rome fulfilling our commitment to ensure their safe return home. Sincere 🙏 to @airindiain & Italian authorities @DrSJaishankar @harshvshringla @MEAIndia @PMOIndia pic.twitter.com/RmdxdKqfKH— India in Italy (@IndiainItaly) March 21, 2020
The virus had its epicenter in the Chinese city of Wuhan and now it has its epicenter in Europe - particularly Italy. As of Sunday, Italy has reported with more than 5000 deaths so far which is the highest death toll in the world while China, Iran, South Korea, and the United States line up behind Italy with the most number of deaths. At the global stage, the virus has affected 167 countries, infected more than 3,08,000 people and claimed more than 13,000 lives.