New Delhi: 263 Indian nationals who were stuck in the coronavirus-hit Italy’s capital city of Rome were evacuated to Delhi by an Air India special flight on Sunday morning.
The evacuees — mostly students — have been taken to an Indo-Tibetan Border Police quarantine facility in Chhawla after undergoing thermal screening and immigration at the airport.
“The passengers are being handled at the isolation bay — far away from other terminals and would be taken out from a separate gate for compulsory quarantine”, a Delhi airport official said.
In a tweet, Indian Embassy in Italy said, “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.”
The national air carrier had on Saturday deployed a Boeing 777 with 12 crew members to rescue stranded Indian citizens in Italy, amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
Around 500 Indians are said to be stranded in Italy at the moment.
This is the second batch of Indians evacuated from Italy. Earlier, as many as 218 Indians were evacuated from the Italian city of Milan.
Meanwhile, Italy on Sunday had announced its biggest day-to-day increase of infections, which rose by 6,600 with nearly 800 new fatalities from the virus that causes COVID-19.
The country’s total death toll of more than 4,825 has surpassed the number of deaths in China, where the first cases emerged late last year.
Bihar reported its first fatality due to the novel coronavirus after a 38-year-old patient succumbed to the virus at Patna AIIMS.
With this, India witnessed a break from the age pattern of all the deaths due to COVID-19, which has primarily affected the elderly so far.
Coronavirus cases in India crossed the 300-mark, including five who have died.
Worldwide deaths surged past 11,000 on Saturday, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States.
More than 277,000 people have been infected, while some 88,000 have recovered.