Seven Maldivians were flown down to India from coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China along with 323 Indians in an Air India flight that landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi international airport on Sunday morning.
Taking to Twitter, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “7 Maldivians brought back with 323 Indians from Wuhan on the second @airindiain flight today. #NeighbourhoodFirst at work again.” Air India has done such evacuations earlier also from countries such as Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Nepal. Follow Coronavirus outbreak LIVE Updates
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) February 2, 2020
After a meeting with the External Affairs Minister of Maldives in December last year, Jaishankar had renewed emphasis on ‘Neighbourhood first’ policy of India. “Both sides noted that India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and Maldives’ ‘India First’ policy were working in tandem to further strengthen a dynamic, multifaceted and mutually beneficial partnership that rests on the foundation of mutual trust, understanding and sensitivity to each other’s concerns,” a joint statement issued by the two countries after talks said.
In the first Air India flight on Saturday, 324 Indians were evacuated. Half of them were taken to the 300-bed isolation centre set up by the Indian Army at Manesar, while the remaining were kept in a quarantine facility in Chhawla Camp on Saturday. Out of the 324 Indians, 56, 53 and 42 are from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, respectively. However, none of them has tested positive for the virus. Five doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital, were on board both the flights that evacuated the Indians from Wuhan.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines