A special Air India flight, on February 27, brought back 119 Indians, including 113 crew members and six passengers, who were on board coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off Yokohama, Japan.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, said that the flight which arrived in New Delhi from Tokyo, also evacuated five foreign nationals — two Sri Lankans and one each from Nepal, South Africa and Peru.
All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana.
Originally, there were 138 Indians on board the Diamond Princess. Of these, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for coronavirus. They are receiving medical care and treatment at onshore facilities in Japan.
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According to the ministry, three Indian crew members did not board the special flight and conveyed their wish to continue their stay on board the cruise ship — to complete the extended quarantine period put in place by the Government of Japan. The Indian Embassy in Tokyo has established contact with those individuals and is following-up on their recovery, the ministry said.Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar, on Twitter, appreciated facilitation by Japanese authorities, the Indian embassy in Tokyo for their “sustained efforts” and thanked Air India for undertaking the special flight.