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    Special Air India plane brings back Indians from Wuhan amid coronavirus panic

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    A special Air India plane with over 300 Indians from China’s coronavirus-hit Wuhan landed in New Delhi this Saturday morning.

    The plane reached Delhi around 7:30 am, said officials.

    The jet left India with 20 crew members, five doctors from Delhi’s Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital and an Air India paramedic with stocks of medicines, masks, protective gear and packed food.

    “No service will take place in the plane. Whatever food is there will be kept in seat pockets. As there will be no service, there will be no interaction between the cabin crew and passengers,” said Ashwani Lohani, the chairman and managing director of Air India who was present during the departure.

    A joint team of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and Airport Health Authority will screen the evacuees in a two-step process at the Delhi airport.

    On Friday evening, the Air India spokesperson had stated that another special flight may take off from Delhi airport on Saturday to evacuate Indians from Wuhan.

    On Friday, the number of deaths due to the pathogen reached 213 and confirmed infections globally neared 10,000.

    The speed of the spread, coronavirus infections have now surpassed the total number of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) cases seen in 2003, prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) late on Thursday to declare the outbreak a global health emergency.

    Air India has done such evacuations earlier also from countries such as Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Nepal.

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