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Coronavirus: Air India plane ready for evacuation of Indians from Wuhan

Coronavirus: Air India plane ready for evacuation of Indians from Wuhan

Flag carrier Air India has kept one of its 423-seater jumbo plane ready in Mumbai for the evacuation of Indian citizens from Wuhan province in China in the wake of Cornovirus outbreak in the East Asian country, an official source said on Tuesday.

Mumbai, Jan 28: Flag carrier Air India has kept one of its 423-seater jumbo plane ready in Mumbai for the evacuation of Indian citizens from Wuhan province in China in the wake of Cornovirus outbreak in the East Asian country, an official source said on Tuesday.

The airline is awaiting necessary approvals from the ministries of External Affairs and Health to operate the special evacuation flight, the source said.

The decision follows the government instructions to various ministries to take steps to deal with the issue.

“We have kept a Boeing 747-400 ready in Mumbai to operate an evacuation flight to China whenever we get a go ahead from the government,” the source said.

Some 250 Indians are to be evacuated, the source said, adding, “we are awaiting clearances from Ministry of External Affairs and also from Health Ministry. The Health Ministry’s nod is required because the operating crew has to fly in a virus outbreak territory.”

At the Cabinet Secretary meeting on Monday,the government decided that steps may be taken to prepare for the possible evacuation of Indian nationals in Wuhan.

Coronavirus is a large family of viruses that causes illnesses ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndromes, but the virus in China is a novel strain and not seen before.

The outbreak has caused alarm because of its similarity to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

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