Special Air India flights brings back 263 Indians from Italy, evacuees quarantined at ITBP facility

The special Air India flight from Rome landed at Delhi airport around 10 am.

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Special Air India flights brings back 263 Indians from Italy, evacuees quarantined at ITBP facility

An Air India special flight brought back 263 Indians, most of whom are students, from Rome on Sunday as the death toll in Italy from coronavirus pandemic neared 5,000 on Saturday. 

The evacuees were sent to ITBP quarantine facility in south west Delhi's Chhawla area. 

India’s national carrier deployed a Boeing 787-Dreamliner with 12 crew members to bring back stranded Indians. The special flight departed from Delhi at 2.30 PM on Saturday and left Rome Sunday morning. 

"The special flight had 263 passengers. It landed at around 10 am at Delhi airport from Rome," an Air India official said.

"All the 263 people are being taken to our quarantine centre in Chhawla area of south-west Delhi after thermal screening and immigration at the tarmac," an ITBP spokesperson said.

They were stranded in Rome after India banned flights from affected countries. The government has now banned international flights from landing in India from March 22 for a week.

Italy is the worst-affected country in the world with 4,825 deaths reported so far. It has confirmed 53,578 coronavirus positive cases, according to John Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Centre.

The Indian embassy in Italy had been in constant touch with Indians in the country and had coordinated their evacuation. 

"263 Indian students and compassionate cases departed for India by special AI flight from Rome fulfilling our commitment to ensure their safe return home. Sincere thanks to Air India Italian authorities," the embassy of India in Italy said in a tweet. 

Earlier, 218 people were evacuated from Italy's Milan on March 15. They include 211 students and 7 compassionate cases who were evacuated through an Air India flight. They all have been kept at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police's quarantine facility.

Another batch of 83 Indians was evacuated from Italy on March 11. They have been kept at Army's Manesar quarantine facility. 

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