In order to evacuate Indian nationals including students stranded in Italy due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, a special Air India flight will take off for Rome on Saturday. The flight will return to Delhi on Sunday morning. "On March 21, Air India will be mounting a 787-Dreamliner to Rome to evacuate our students, other travellers or any Indians stranded there. We are in close touch with our mission there," said Rubina Ali, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, on Thursday.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said it's preparing to evacuate Indian students and nationals stranded in Italy due to the outbreak of coronavirus. “We are planning to evacuate the next batch of Indians from Italy this weekend, further details are being worked out with the Civil Aviation Ministry,” Dammu Ravi of the MEA had said.
On Sunday, a special flight of Air India carrying 211 Indian students and eight other passengers, who were stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy after flights were cancelled, landed in Delhi. Giving further information, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan had said that all of them are being quarantined for 14 days.
218 Indians including 211 students from Milan landed in Delhi. All will be quarantined for 14 days. GoI is committed to reach out to Indians in distress, wherever they are!— V. Muraleedharan (@MOS_MEA) March 15, 2020
Appreciate Govt. of Italy for their support and team @IndiainItaly @cgmilan1 @airindiain .@DrSJaishankar
Italy is one of the worst affected countries due to COVID-19 pandemic. Italy called in its armed forces to help enforce quarantine measures in the country. Italy is dealing with the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the world -- more than 4,000 people have been killed, including 627 in a 24-hour period. India has carried out evacuations from several countries in the past few weeks. It has brought back its citizens from China, Japan and Iran as the number of cases of coronavirus continue to rise in these countries.
The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in India rose to 271 on Saturday, according to ICMR. The Ministry of Health has instructed hospitals to not turn away patients suspected of having coronavirus, and that patients with pneumonia should also be tested for the infection.