It was a day of special appreciation for six doctors, four nursing officers and 68 Air India staff who conducted evacuation operation of the Indians stranded at Wuhan, China the epicenter of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The force behind the operation on Monday received special appreciation letter issued by Prime Minister. Narendra Modi. “Strength through diversity gets expression in the collective effort. This is how the bravery and commendable feat of the ten doctors and paramedic staff," the letter stated. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare team felicitated the team of Doctors and Nursing Officers from Dr RML Hospital and Safdurjung Hospital who were part of the team that was successful in evacuating 645 India citizens and seven Maldivan citizens from Wuhan in China on 1 and 2 February, 2020.
“Grit, determination and compassion displayed by the rescue team proves that the true test of character lies in adversity. In such a scenario, the evacuation of Indian citizens in distress has not only given relief to those rescued but has also reassured the Indian diaspora settled across the globe that in time of crisis, the entire nation stands firmly united. Your indefatigable effort inspires every citizen to serve the nation with dedication and commitment," the letter stated.
The appreciation letters were given to Anand Vishal, Associated Professor of Medicine, Pulin Gupta, Professor of Internal Medicine, SanjeetPanesar, Assistant Professor, Community Medicine from Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Yogesh Chandra Porwal, Professor and Consultant, Internal Medicine, Rupali Malik, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine from Safdarjung Hospital and Sujata Arya, Public Health Specialist, Airport Health Organization, New Delhi. Among the nursing staff, Manu Joseph, Rajnish Kumar, Ajo Jose, Nursing Officer, SarathPrem, from Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital got the letters.
Meanwhile, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister In charge, Civil Aviation also handed over the letters of appreciation to the 68 Air India Staff, who conducted evacuation operation. An emergency evacuation operation from the Wuhan city was executed by the crew of Air India, which sent two 423-seater B-747 aircraft for two consecutive days, on 31st of January 2020 and on 1stof February 2020 despite being aware of the severe situation in the region. The operation was led by Captain Amitabh Singh, Director Operations, Air India with 68 members of Air India. The Air India team consisted of 8 pilots, 30 cabin crew, 10 commercial staff and one senior officer.
Reviewing the coronavirus situation in the country, Harsh Vardhan also interacted with the evacuees from Wuhan who have been housed at ITBP camp, and many of whom are being discharged to leave for their homes. These have all been found to be negative of COVID19 and will be going back to their homes in phases, the government has said. According to the union health ministry, as on date 3,21,375 passengers from 2996 flights and 6,387 passengers from 125 ships have been screened. Around 2,571 samples across 15 laboratories across India have been tested and only 3 samples have been found positive. “Two patients among the three positive cases found in Kerala have been discharged and condition of the third one is stable. The call centre established at the central level has got 4,400 calls among which 390 international calls have been received so far. More than 360 emails have been received and responded on COVID19," said Harsh Vardhan.
According to the Johs Hopkins university’s live tracker of the disease, at least 71,811 people across the world remain infected mostly in China and 1775 people have died due to the deadly virus.
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