AI plane leaves for Wuhan on evacuation mission
New Delhi, January 31, 2020
National carrier Air India moved into action to evacuate Indian nationals stranded in China due to novel coronavirus. An Air India 423-seater B747 plane left for Wuhan from the Delhi airport on Friday afternoon.
Government officials said the plane, with five doctors belonging to the Health Ministry, is on its way to evacuate an estimated 400 Indians from the virus affected region of China.
The plane will not carry any crew except the pilots, who have been provided protective gear against the infection. Food packets have been placed in the seat pockets as no cabin crew are being sent on the flight.
The plane will spend no more than 2-3 hours at Wuhan before making the return journey to India. The rescue plane is expected to reach Delhi in the early hours of Saturday.
The indian government has contacted around 600 Indian nationals resident in Hubei province to check on their preparedness to return to India. A number of students and other professionals are staying in the virus-affected area.
Till now, 213 deaths, in China, have been attributed to the novel corona virus infection and more than 9,600 confirmed cases have been reported there.