Indian nationals on board Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan coast brought back in Air India special flight

A special Air India flight arrived in New Delhi from Tokyo on Thursday bringing back 119 Indian nationals (113 crew members and 6 passengers) who were on-board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship docked off at Yokohama in Japan.

In line with India’s neighbourhood first policy and Indo-Pacific vision, the special flight also evacuated 5 foreign nationals—2 Sri Lankans, 1 Nepalese, 1 South African and 1 Peruvian. All the evacuees will undergo a14 day quarantine at the quarantine facility set up by the Indian Army in Manesar, Haryana, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in a tweet said, “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.”

3 Indian crew members didn’t board the special flight and conveyed their wish to continue their stay on-board the Cruise ship to complete the period of extended quarantine put in place by the Government of Japan, it said.

Out of the total 138 Indian nationals originally on-board the Diamond Princess, 16 Indian crew members have tested positive for Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) and are receiving necessary medical care and treatment at onshore medical facilities in Japan. Embassy of India in Tokyo has established contact with these individuals and is continuously following-up on their recovery, it added.

The ship was put under quarantine by Government of Japan on 5th February 2020 for 14 days until 19th February 2020, as one of the passengers who had disembarked from the ship had tested positive for COVID-19. The quarantine period was extended by the Government of Japan as the crew members were performing their regular duties during the initial quarantine period of 14 days.