Friday 8 May 2020 12:43 AM UTC
Thiruvananthapuram May 8: Two special flights with 363 Indians from Abu Dhabi and Dubai landed in Kerala on Thursday as part of India’s massive operation to bring back some of the hundreds of thousands of citizens stuck abroad due to coronavirus restrictions.
The first Air India Express flight had taken off at 5:07 pm (local time) from Abu Dhabi for Kochi.
A second Dubai-Kozhikode flight took off at 5:46 pm (local time) as part of the massive repatriation exercise named ”Vande Bharat Mission” that will use passenger jets and naval ships.
All passengers have undergone coronavirus anti-body tests at the airport before departure and will be quarantined for seven days at a government facility, authorities have said.
They will then undergo the more reliable RT-PCR test and if negative, they will be allowed to self-quarantine at home for the remaining seven days. If they are positive, they will be moved to hospitals.
Passengers flying in from places without any test will be kept in institutional quarantine for all 14 days.
All passengers who are arriving will undergo multi-level screenings including thermal checks. Once cleared they will be seated in buses that will take them to their home districts where they will be quarantined.
Pregnant women and seniors have been exempted from institutional quarantine but will have to follow strict quarantine measures at home.
The central government had banned all incoming international flights in late March as it imposed one of the world’s strictest virus lockdowns, leaving vast numbers of workers and students stranded.
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