Air India Pilots that were Deployed under the Vande Bharat Mission Re-test Negative for COVID 19

India had begun with the first phase of its mammoth operation, the Vande Bharat Mission, on the 7th of May in order to evacuate stranded Indian nationals from numerous foreign countries. The evacuation plan involves deploying commercial passenger jets and Indian Navy warships in order to bring marooned Indians from various countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Spain and Thailand.

The government is expecting the return of 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad, which are to be brought back home on 64 flights in the first phase of the mega mission, the Vande Bharat Mission. 

However, this extraction plan designed to bring back Indian nationals, who have been stranded in a dozen countries abroad, back home has its own apprehensions and concerns. The horror of the fact that the stranded Indian nationals, that are being brought back to their homes in India from abroad, might end up contributing to the spread of the malignant novel coronavirus in the country. Although the government is being very precautious in all the matter concerning the coronavirus. The Government has laid out the condition that only those people shall be allowed to return to their homes who show no signs of any infection and that will have to undergo a 14 days quarantine on their arrival in the country.

There has already been an incident where five COVID 19 positive cases had been detected amongst 363 Indian nationals evacuated from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They had been repatriated by the Air India flights which landed in Kerala’s Kochi on Sunday, the 10th of May. Such instances force the authorities concerned to be more precautious in these critical times. All the evacuated Indian nationals as well as the airline staff have to be tested for the novel coronavirus before they can return back to their families.

Five pilots of Air India had been tested positive for the novel coronavirus and had been quarantined in the city of Mumbai. However, their result turned out to be negative after a re-test which was conducted under the standard operating procedure on Monday, the 11th of May. These pilots were deployed to the Boeing 787 Dreamliners aircraft under the Vande Bharat Mission to ferry stranded Indian nationals.

“The 5 pilots have tested negative for the virus during the re-testing.”, an airline source told IANS.

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