Milan/New Delhi: A total of 218 Indians, including 211 students, stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy have arrived in India, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said. He further said all of them will be 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!,” Muraleedharan tweeted.
“Appreciate Govt. of Italy for their support and team @IndiainItaly @cgmilan1 @airindiain @DrSJaishankar,” he added.
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
“Air India always spreads its wings to stand by the nation in its hour of need,” an airline spokesperson said soon after the flight from Milan landed here.
The coronavirus outbreak, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday, has led to more than 5,000 deaths globally.
The government has suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across India rose to more than 90.
The government has been carrying out evacuation of Indians from countries, including Iran and Italy.
A special Air India flight carrying 211 Indian students, who were stuck in Italy after flights were cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak, departed for India on Saturday.
The flight which took off from Milan also has seven compassionate cases.
"211 students & 7 compassionate cases departed by AI flight #Milan. All those who helped us through this difficult situation, special thanks to @airindiain team & Italian authorities. Consulate will continue to ensure the welfare of all Indians in northern #Italy," Indian Consulate in Milan tweeted.
The evacuation by India was carried out after the World Health Organisation declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic and said that Europe is the new epicentre of the lethal virus.
Italy on Saturday (local time) reported 175 deaths from coronavirus, raising the toll to 1,411.
Earlier,Air India had announced the cancellation of all flights to Kuwait and Italy till April 30.
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.