In wake of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, Air India is expected to operate a special flight to Wuhan in China to fly back Indian citizens stranded there.

Indian government’s regulatory body for civil aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given its approval to the national carrier to deploy this service.

Air India’s jumbo double-decker Boeing-747 aircraft has been kept on stand by for this rescue operation. However, the date on which it will fly to Wuhan is not confirmed yet.

The Ministries of Health, External Affairs and Civil Aviation in India are constantly reviewing the situation; and are making the required arrangements to get back Indians whether they are infected or not.

Passengers onboard this special flight will have to be constantly monitored and quarantined after reaching India. Once landed, the aircraft, crew and the passengers shall be isolated and will undergo complete screening — and only after ruling out infection, will they be allowed to leave.

As per World Health Organisation, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

Few precautionary measures to undertake are:

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  • Frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  • Avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals.
  • Travellers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing and wash hands).