One Nepali national among those evacuated from Japan cruise ship on Air India flight

KATHMANDU: An Air India flight today morning brought back to Delhi, India 119 Indians and five foreigners — including a Nepali national — who were aboard quarantined cruise ship docked off Yokohama in Japan. Other foreigners who were brought back to India aboard the special Air India flight included two from Sri Lanka and one each from South Africa and Peru.

Air India flight has just landed in Delhi from Tokyo,carrying 119 Indians & 5 nationals from Sri Lanka,Nepal, South Africa&Peru who were quarantined onboard the #DiamondPrincess due to #COVID19. Appreciate the facilitation of Japanese authorities.

Thank you @airindiain once again

— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 26, 2020

"Air India flight has just landed in Delhi from Tokyo, carrying 119 Indians & 5 nationals from Sri Lanka, Nepal, South Africa and Peru who were quarantined onboard the Diamond Princess due to COVID19. Appreciate the facilitation of Japanese authorities. Thank you Air India once again," Jaishankar tweeted. The Union minister was quoted in INDIA TODAY as saying out of 138 Indians originally aboard the Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for coronavirus. He said those tested positive are receiving necessary medical care and treatment at onshore medical facilities in Japan.

It has been reported that all the evacuees will undergo a 14-day quarantine at a medical facility set-up by the Indian Army in Manesar.

A government statement said that three Indian crew members did not board the special flight and conveyed their wish to continue their stay aboard the cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the government of Japan. They were among the 3,711 people aboard the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.

The ship was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease.

India had earlier operated two special Air India flights on February 1 and 2 and airlifted 647 Indian nationals, mostly students, and seven Maldivian nationals, from China. Wednesday's flight was cleared by China after allegations of delay by Indian officials.

The virus has in recent days spread far beyond China, where it emerged late last year, apparently in a market selling wildlife in the city of Wuhan. China reported 433 new cases on Thursday, against 406 a day earlier.

Taiwan has had 32 cases of the coronavirus and one death. South Korea reported another 334 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, pushing its total to 1,595, the most in any country other than China.

Likewise, Brazil confirmed Latin America's first infection and the new disease — COVID-19 — was also detected for the first time in Pakistan, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Romania and Algeria.