Indians To Fly Out Of China Tonight. What Happens Next To Them: 10 Points

Coronavirus: The doctors and crew will wear full protective fear and have been told to refrain from leaving the aircraft and to only allow non-infected people onboard

Indians To Fly Out Of China Tonight. What Happens Next To Them: 10 Points

Air India will fly a specially-prepared Boeing 747 to evacuate Indians from China's Wuhan (File)

New Delhi: A specially-prepped Air India flight took off from Delhi this afternoon to evacuate around 400 Indians stranded in China's Wuhan since the start of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The national carrier ferried in a Boeing 747 jumbo jet from its Mumbai hub for this purpose. The plane, which is carrying special medical kits put together by the Health Ministry, will reach Wuhan in approximately six hours and will spend between two and three hours in China before returning at around 2 am Friday. A second plane may depart tomorrow, an Air India spokesperson said.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. Indians brought back from Wuhan will spend 14 days at an isolation centre in Manesar near Delhi to ensure there is no danger of the infection spreading, the government said.

  2. The plane is carrying five doctors from Delhi's Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and a paramedic from Air India. It is also carrying special medical kits, prepared by the Union Health Ministry, in addition to gloves, masks and medicines.

  3. Doctors and crew will wear full protective fear and have been instructed to refrain from leaving the aircraft and to only allow non-infected people to board the plane.

  4. Crew members - pilots, engineers, security personnel and doctors will be isolated at home for a week upon return and will have to report to an isolation ward if they show symptoms. Crew will have minimal contact with passengers; food and water will be left on each seat.

  5. Over 200 people have died in this outbreak, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) this morning called a "global health emergency".

  6. India reported its first case yesterday - a Keralite student from Wuhan University. "The patient had returned from Wuhan and is now kept in isolation at General Hospital in Thrissur. She is stable," KK Shailaja, the Kerala Health Minister, said.

  7. Three more suspected cases are in isolation wards across the city in northern Kerala. In addition, over 800 others are under surveillance at their homes for possible exposure. Possible cases are also being monitored in isolation wards in various cities, including Delhi and Mumbai.

  8. The new virus has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS, which killed nearly 800 people in mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-03. Scientists hope to be testing vaccines in three months; China is testing the HIV drug Aluvia as a treatment.

  9. Like other respiratory infections, it spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes. It has an incubation of between one and 14 days, and there are signs it may spread before symptoms show.

  10. The death toll in Hubei, the Chinese province at the centre of the epidemic (which is where 0Wuhan is located), had risen to 204 and there were 9,692 cases of infection nationally as of Thursday, Chinese health authorities said. About 100 cases have been reported in at least 18 other countries, with no deaths outside China.