All evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
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.
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.