Flight from Riyadh Carrying Stranded Indians Reaches Kerala

An Air India repatriation flight from Riyadh landed at the Karipur airport here on Friday night, carrying 153 passengers, including 84 pregnant women, 22 children and four infants.

The flight, the third to Kerala, touched down at around 8 pm and was part of the Vande Bharat Mission which started on Thursday to bring home Indian nationals stranded due to COVID-19 lockdown in various countries.

Two flights had landed at Kochi and Kozhikode on Thursday from Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively.

Another flight took off from Bahrain with 177 passengers and five infants and is expected to reach Kochi by 11.30 pm.

According to airport sources, the flight from Riyadh is carrying five persons having some health issues and they would soon be shifted to Manjeri and Kozhikode medical college hospitals.

Ten passengers from neighbouring states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu also travelled in the flight, the sources said.

The passengers were subjected to thermal test at the aerobridge itself before allowing them to undergo customs and immigration checks, sources said.

Official sources said all the passengers would be subjected to COVID-19 rapid test at the airport before transferring them to their respective destinations by special taxis and KSRTC buses.

As per the norms, all the pregnant women and children would be transported to their homes and others would be shifted to coronavirus care centres in their home districts.