COVID-19: Positive cases in India at 53,000; Death toll close to 1800

Country begins first phase of repatriation of stranded citizens from overseas

COVID-19: Positive cases in India at 53,000; Death toll close to 1800

With a spike of at least 2,958 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s total confirmed cases of coronavirus infection has jumped to 53000. Of this, 35,902 remain active as on 7th May. Maharashtra reports the highest number of cases at 14,541 followed by Gujarat with 5,804 positive cases. The country saw 1,783 deaths due to the infection until now, while some 15,266 patients have been cured so far, making the recovery rate at about 29%. 

Meanwhile, India has started repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad by sending flights to more than 12 countries.  

Two special Air India flights left Kerala on 7th May as a part of the evacuation plan named Vande Bharat Mission to bring about 354 stranded citizens from the UAE. The flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai will return to Nedumbassery and Kozhikode airports today.

As on 6th May over 4 lakh non-Kerala residents had registered at the state’s NORKA website for returning. 

Nearly 15,000 Indians stranded overseas are expected to return on special Air India flights from 12 countries over a week, starting today. 

Of the 64 flights arranged by the government’s repatriation and evacuation mission -Vande Bharat Mission- 15 would be to Kerala, 11 each to Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each to Maharashtra and Telangana, and the rest to Gujarat, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh.

The flight services would operate to bring back the stranded citizens until May 13. The government shall also use three Navy ships, as part of the evacuation plan.

Only people testing negative for COVID-19 will be permitted to travel to the country. Anti-body testing and thermal screening would be conducted in the airports to screen for the disease. Upon reaching back to the country the people will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period.

“On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Aarogya Setu app. Everyone would be medically screened. After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned State government.” said the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“COVID-19 test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols. State Governments are being advised to make arrangements.”