China bars Indians from boarding Guangzhou-bound special AI flight

Following the positive test results of the two Indians, the Chinese authorities only permitted an empty flight from India to land in Guangzhou city to repatriate Indians

China, India, special flights, repatriation, Vande Bharat Mission, coronavirus, COVID-19
Air India’s special repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission took off from Guangzhou city on Monday afternoon in a bid to bring back home 86 Indians stranded in China. Photo: PTI

China on Monday (June 29) refused to allow several Indians passengers from boarding a Guangzhou city-bound flight after two Indians tested positive for the COVID-19 on a special Air India flight from New Delhi to Shanghai on June 21.

Following the positive test results of the two Indians, the Chinese authorities only permitted an empty flight from India to land in Guangzhou city to repatriate Indians.

Air India’s special repatriation flights under the Vande Bharat Mission took off from Guangzhou city on Monday afternoon in a bid to bring back home 86 Indians stranded in China.

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The June 21 Shanghai-bound flight was also a part of the repatriation process on which 186 Indians returned.

The Indians who were not allowed to board the flights included families of those bureaucrats and people who hold diplomatic passports, indicating that the resumption of commercial flights between the two countries is far from vision.

Related news: 170 flights, 17 countries: Vande Bharat mission phase-4 from July

“Recently, we have assisted in arranging the return of some Indian diplomats and their families to China. In view of the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the temporary flight, China and India agreed in advance that the temporary flight arriving in Guangzhou on June 29 would not carry passengers,’’ the Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement in Mandarin on Monday.

More than 100 Indians, including diplomats’ families and officials of a multilateral bank, were on the June 21 flight, reported Hindustan Times.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai health commission (SHC) confirmed that three foreigners – one from the US and two Indians on the June 21 flight – tested positive for COVID-19.

“Cases 2 and 3 are of Indian nationality and live in India. They departed from India on June 20 and arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport that day. After entering the customs, they were intensively isolated and observed. Symptoms occurred during the period. Comprehensive epidemiological history, clinical symptoms, laboratory tests and imaging findings, etc, were diagnosed as confirmed cases,” the SHC said in statement.

“Three imported confirmed cases have been transferred to designated medical institutions for treatment, and 47 close contacts with the flight have been tracked, and all have been implemented for centralised isolation and observation,” the statement added.

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