An Air India jumbo B747 plane landed in New Delhi at around 7.30 am local time on Saturday morning. On board were 324 Indian nationals, evacuated from the novel coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China.
Also on board were five doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital and one paramedical staff. The rescue mission was led by Captain Amitabh Singh, Director (Operations), Air India and the aircraft also had five cockpit crew members and 15 cabin crew members on board.
Indian Army officials have said that the procedure of screening and quarantining of those evacuated from China will be done in two stages: first at the Indira Gandhi International airport, and then a detailed screening at the quarantine facility set up at the Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC) in Manesar. Anyone showing signs of fever, cough or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to BHDC.
Prior to evacuation, the Indian government had taken an undertaking from the evacuees that they would agree to be quarantined for a period of 14 days after their arrival.
As per reports, the quarantine facility in Manesar consists of accommodation barracks, administrative areas and medical facility area. These have been divided into sectors in order to prevent a mass outbreak of the coronavirus and each will house a maximum of 50 people.
Additionally, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has also set up a 600-bed facility in southwest Delhi's Chhawla area to quarantine and provide basic medical care to anyone suspected to be infected.
On Friday evening, the Air India spokesperson had said that another special flight might leave Delhi airport on Saturday to evacuate more Indians from Wuhan.
The Indian Embassy in Beijing also tweeted requesting any Indians who want to be evacuated via the second flight to urgently call the hotlines that have been set up.
The death toll from the novel coronavirus outbreak in China has risen to 259 with almost 12,000 people infected worldwide.