Coronavirus: Indian Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police create two transit camps near Delhi for Wuhan returns

Last Updated 31 January 2020, 13:52 IST

Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police have readied two transit camps near Delhi to accommodate the Indians who would be brought back from the novel-coronavirus hit Chinese city of Wuhan that lies at the core of the global outbreak.

While the Indian Army has prepared a 300-bed make-shit quarantine facility at Manesar near Gurugram, a 600 bed facility at one of ITBP establishments at Chhawla in south west Delhi is also ready for the guests, who would have to spend 14 days in confinement.

The students would be staying with the Army whereas the families and children would living at the ITBP camp. At both places there would be experienced doctors to keep an eye.

On Friday, Air India's 423-seater jumbo B747 plane took off from the Delhi airport at around 1.20 pm to bring back Indian nationals from Wuhan. Five doctors from Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Delhi and one paramedical staff are on board. A second AI flight is expected later.

Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said, "No service will take place in the plane. The food will be kept in seat pockets. As there will be no service, there will be no interaction (between cabin crew and passengers). Masks have been arranged for the crew and passengers. For our crew, we have also arranged a complete protective gear."

The special flight is likely to return in the wee hours of Saturday. On return, the passengers would be screened at the airport by a joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services and Airport Health Authority. The medical check would done following three categories – suspect case, close contact and non-contact case.

If any of the students under Army supervision display any sign of fever or cough or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to the Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment. The suspect cases from the camp would also be sent to the hospital.

Those under the ITBP would be monitored by doctors from the paramedical force as well as Safderjung hospital. The food, medicine and wi-fi requirements have been taken care of at the Chhawla camp.

While the first special flight evacuates students stranded at Wuhan, a second flight is under consideration to bring back another few hundred Indians living in other parts of Hubei province. Nearly 600-700 Indians are likely to return in an effort to escape the virus that killed more than 200 and infected 8000 plus people from all over the world till Friday.

(Published 31 January 2020, 10:45 IST)

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