Coronavirus outbreak: Air India evacuates second batch of Indians from Wuhan, 7 Maldivians onboard
The first batch of 323 Indians returned to the country on Saturday and are kept at the Army quarantine facility at Manesar and Chhawla Camp
New Delhi: An Air India special flight carrying the second batch of Indians evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, landed in New Delhi on Sunday morning. The flight brought back 323 Indians and seven Maldivians.
Earlier, the national carrier's spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar said, “The flight took off from Wuhan at 3:10 am (IST) and is expected to land in New Delhi at 9:20 am.”
"Second Air India special flight from Wuhan departed at 05.40 hours (03.10 IST). The flight time is six hours. It is expected to land in Delhi by 09.20 hours Indian time," Kumar said.
Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri tweeted on Sunday that the flight carries 323 Indian citizens on board, while 7 Maldives citizens "are also being evacuated".
"The 2nd #AirIndia flight from #Wuhanhas just taken off for #Delhi with 323 Indian citizens on board. 7 Maldives citizens are also being evacuated. Grateful once again to @MFA_China and local authorities all across #Hubei for their assistance," Misri tweeted.
Foreign minister of Maldives Abdulla Sahid posted on his official Twitter handle: "7 Maldivians in Wuhan are on their way to Delhi on a special Air India flight. Upon arrival they will be housed in Delhi for a period of quarantine. Deep gratitude to PM Narendra Modi and EM Dr S Jaishankar. Special thanks to Ambassadors Vikram Misri and Sunjay Sudhir and their teams."
Earlier, Kumar had said that the team of doctors on the aircraft would be the same as on the first, while the crew has changed, adding that the flight operation would still be led by Air India's Director of Operations Captain Amitabh Singh.
The flight carrying the first batch of Indians had landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi on Saturday. Of the 324 passengers, three were minors and 211 were students.
The virus originated in Wuhan in December and has since then spread to various cities around the world.
Several countries including India have sped up the evacuation process after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global health crisis.