Indians arrive from Abu Dhabi, Dubai amid COVID-19

Updated: May 08, 2020, 10:52 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Three special Air India Express flights left for Abu Dhabi and Dubai to bring them back

Indian passengers wait for their flight at Abu Dhabi airport on Thursday
Indian passengers wait for their flight at Abu Dhabi airport on Thursday

Late on Thursday evening, nearly 350 Keralites from Abu Dhabi and Dubai arrived at Kochi and Calicut International Airport, in the first batch of repatriated stranded Indians in UAE.

Three special Air India Express flights left for Abu Dhabi and Dubai to bring them back. "As per the state health department directives, all passengers will be screened and have to undergo compulsory quarantine / isolation for 14 days, a regular check up and a swab test. If someone has COVID-19 and shows symptoms within the first seven days, they will be shifted to the district (Ernakulam) Medical College for treatment. Those who show negative results will be allowed to go home, but must complete remaining seven days of quarantine at home and health officials will contact them regularly to check on symptoms," explained a senior health officer from State Health Ministry.

Hari Krishna Namboothiri, CEO, Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs, (NORKA) informed mid-day, "We are anticipating around 3,000 Indians to return to Kerala. Early Friday morning we are expecting another Air India Express flight to get around similar number of (177) passengers excluding crew to arrive from Riyadh to Calicut."

When asked about the three warships which have headed to the Maldives and Dubai, Hari Krishna said, "The Naval warship will leave from the Maldives by Friday and we are expecting them to reach Kochi within two days. We haven't got the entire list of passengers coming by ship, so far we have 500 peoples' names, and the number might go further up, which will be clear by Friday. Passengers repatriated through both the air and water ways mode of transport, will be quarantined and so far we have got around 4.50 lakh requests registered on our portal.

Dr Prasanna Kumari, Superintendent Aluva Government Hospital said, "We are a 227-bedded hospital but not a COVID-19 designated hospital. We have made arrangements for suspected cases, for which nine single bed isolation rooms are ready, also in case any of the suspects require hospital support, we will shift them to Ernakulam Medical College, which is a COVID-19 designated hospital in the district."

" We can easily arrange for 350 beds, and have 30 to 40 isolation rooms for suspected cases, and a similar number of beds in the ICU, with nearly 30 ventilator support facilities. Only those passengers who show COVID-19 symptoms will be transferred to our medical college for further line of treatment," said Dr Peter Vazhyail, medical superintendent at Ernakulam Medical College.

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