An Air India flight on Thursday brought back to the national capital 119 Indians and five foreigners who were on board a coronavirus-hit cruise ship docked off Yokohama in Japan. The foreigners, who were brought back to India on board the special Air India flight, included two from Sri Lanka and one each from Nepal, South Africa and Peru.
16 Indian crew members tested positive for the coronavirus on the ship and are at medical facilities in Japan. â€śEmbassy of India in Tokyo has established contact with these individuals and is continuously following-up on their recovery,â€ť a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, onboard the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3. Of the 119 Indians who returned to India, 113 were crew and six were passengers. The Air India flight landed in the early hours of February 27.
All the evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a medical facility set-up by the Indian Army in Manesar in Haryana.
Three Indian crew members did not board the special flight and conveyed their wish to continue their stay onboard the cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the government of Japan, a government statement said.
In a tweet, the Indian Embassy in Tokyo thanked Japanâ€™s Defence Minister and Ministry for helping plan and execute the evacuation.
The Embassy had earlier sent a form to all those onboard the Diamond Princess, asking if they would like to be repatriated, provided they met the conditions laid down.
"PCR test results for all Indian nationals declared-02 more Indians tested positive to #COVID19, taking the total to 16. Those fulfilling conditions and consenting to repatriation to India on 26 Feb being facilitated by the Indian Government. Details shared with them," the mission earlier tweeted.
"A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals onboard Diamond Princess, provided they have (a) consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19, (c) cleared by the medical team," the mission tweeted earlier.
Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. As the crew was helping run the ship during the quarantine period, they were put on quarantine for 14 more days, along with passengers who were proximate to those who tested positive. Over 1,000 passengers and crew were still onboard the ship after the disembarkations.
With PTI inputs