119 Indians, 5 foreigners stranded on Diamond Princess reach Delhi (Ld)

By Aarti Tikoo SinghNew Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) A special Air India flight arrived in New Delhi on Thursday, bringing back 119 Indians and five foreign nationals who were stranded on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off at Yokohama in Japan.A Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said that apart from the 113 crew members and six passengers of India, two Sri Lankans, and one national each of Nepal, South Africa and Peru were evacuated.The foreigners were evacuated “in line with India’s neighbourhood first policy and Indo-Pacific vision”, the government said.External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also said in a tweet: “Air India flight has just landed in Delhi from Tokyo, carrying 119 Indians and 5 nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru who were quarantined onboard the #DiamondPrincess due to #COVID19. Appreciate the facilitation of Japanese authorities. Thank you @airindiain once again.”Meanwhile, all the evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana.Three Indian crew members didn’t board the special flight and conveyed their wish to continue their stay on the cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the Japanese government, the MEA statement added.Out of the total 138 Indian nationals originally on-board the Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for the coronavirys and were receiving necessary medical care and treatment at the onshore medical facilities in Japan.The government said that the Embassy of India in Tokyo has established contact with patients and is continuously following-up on their recovery.The ship was put under quarantine by the Japanese government on February 5 for 14 days, as one of the passengers who had disembarked from the ship tested positive for the deadly virus.The quarantine period was extended by Japan as the crew members were performing their regular duties during the initial quarantine period of 14 days.–IANSaat/ksk/

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